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STRAVINSKY / BARTOKLONDON SYM ORCH / NAGANO - PETRUSHKA / MIRACULOUS MANDARIN COMPACT DISC

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Stravinsky: Petrushka; Bartok: Miraculous Mandarin / Nagano Composer: Igor Stravinsky, Bla Bartk Orchestra/Ensemble: London Symphony Orchestra Conductor: Kent Nagano An exceptionally interesting new reading... going further than the composer as conductor in probing the feelings of the tortured puppet, a...

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Stravinsky: Petrushka; Bartok: Miraculous Mandarin / Nagano Composer: Igor Stravinsky, Bla Bartk Orchestra/Ensemble: London Symphony Orchestra Conductor: Kent Nagano An exceptionally interesting new reading... going further than the composer as conductor in probing the feelings of the tortured puppet, a bleeding heart indeed within the lacquered box of Stravinsky's Shrovetide fair. Nagano has a head start with a more glamorous recording and the tonal sophistication of his orchestral soloists - not least a superb flautist who launches the ballet in high style and makes a special mystery of the puppet-master's summons... Nagano's subtle, uncredited pianist is rightly spotlighted in what, after all, began life as a concert-piece for piano and orchestra. Bartk's 1919 monstrosity makes a superb companion, with some surprising connections between a supernatural Chinaman and Stravinsky's exotic spicings. Nagano applies a French Impressionist brush to these few caressing moments, while the LSO, who have held sway here since Claudio Abbado's even more inflamed performance, shrill their way through Bartk's more vicious barbarisms as to the manner born.

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