STRAVINSKY Oedipus Rex
Valery Gergiev conductorMlada Khudoley soprano
Mariinsky Orchestra & Chorus
Olga Savova mezzo-soprano
Alexander Timchenko tenor
Andrei Serov bass
Alexander Mogilevsky piano
Svetlana Smolina piano
Yulia Zaichkina piano
Maxim Mogilevsky piano
Valery Gergiev conductor
Mariinsky Orchestra & Chorus
Gérard Depardieu Narrator
Sergei Semishkur Oedipus
Ekaterina Sememchuk Jocasta
Evgeny Nikitin Creon
Evgeny Nikitin Messenger
Alexander Timchenko Shepherd
Total duration 73m49s
Catalogue number MAR0510
Recorded December 2009 & February 2010 in the Mariinsky Concert Hall, St Petersburg
Sung in French & Latin. Libretto in Russian, English and French
James Mallinson producer
Classic Sound Ltd recording, editing & mastering
Jonathan Stokes & Neil Hutchinson engineers
Ian Watson & Jenni Whiteside audio editors
Includes multi-channel 5.1 and stereo mixes.
Notes in English / en Francais / на русском языке
Best Classical Recordings List The Telegraph
ICMA Award 2011 - Best Choral Work
'These performances produce an enormous impression, Oedipus Rex bewitches the power of its influence and insuperable sensation of fatal tragedy, whereas Les Noces incarnates true Russian ritual, without interrupting the connection of Russian folklore with the aesthetics of modern society.' ICMA Awards
***** 'À ces fins entendements, Gergiev ajoute une vie organique, presque un suspense... Il [Gergiev] prend le néoclassicisme à bras-le-corps et en propose un intelligent portrait : dans un discours qui avance implacablement, l'exposition, pleinement assumée, d'un langage mort se conjugue à un dense matériau, riche de dynamiques et de plans sonores.' Opera Magazine
'Gergiev has made it central to his repertoire, and this performance, has idiomatic vocal forces, essential for this fundamentally Russian work... the Mariinsky Chorus and players relish the primitivist rhythmic verve of this singular masterpiece.'
'You can actually tell that the language in question in Russian, which is no mean achievement. Marry that with crisp playing from the pianos and percussion, and sensible tempos that offer plenty of excitement but also promote clarity of diction, and the result is tremendous, and very effectively recorded.' ClassicsToday
- Oedipus Rex
- Les Noces
Less than four years separate the premieres of Les Noces and Oedipus Rex, yet they each represent high-points in two distinct phases of Stravinsky's career.
Although the concept of Les Noces is highly innovative – a 'dance cantata' – the music remains rooted in Russian folk traditions. Choreographed by Bronislava Nijinska and dedicated to Diaghilev, whose Ballet Russes gave the premiere, it marks the crowning glory of Stravinsky's so-called 'second Russian period'.
The opera-oratorio Oedipus Rex is the first great work of Stravinsky's neoclassical period. It was a major change in his compositional style, influenced in part by the loss of 'Russian identity' following his emigration. It is sung in Latin with Jean Cocteau's original French narration spoken here by Gérard Depardieu.