The Columbia Symphony Orchestra. Igor Stravinsky, conductor.
CBS Records Masterworks
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A DIY guy, Stravinsky disliked having his music appropriated by other performers and conductors. "Music should be transmitted and not interpreted," he said in his Autobiography, "because interpretation reveals the personality of the interpreter rather than of the author." Happily, we know that these 1960s recordings convey Stravinsky's own idea of what the scores of these epochal works should sound like.
"By the early '60s he was a highly experienced and skilled conductor, able to get what he wanted from an orchestra whether or not it was what patrons and critics wanted. His primary virtue (one well suited to the music) was clarity: precision of rhythm and ensemble sound and carefully calculated balances and textures…. He is at his best in the best works: 'Petrushka,' 'The Rite of Spring'…. Despite heavy competition, we are not likely to hear most of these performed more effectively in a long while."—Washington Post