Monday, April 20, 2015

Stravinsky: Petrouchka (Coates)

Another Albert Coates birth anniversary is upon us (April 23 - Thursday, this year), so for this week I present his version of Stravinsky's Petrouchka. This is only the second recording ever made of that great ballet; Eugene Goossens' pioneering acoustical version with the Royal Albert Hall Orchestra, which Satyr has available, was the first. Coates' recording would have been intended to replace it, of course:

Stravinsky: Petrouchka (complete ballet)
London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Albert Coates
Recorded October 19 and 24, 1927, January 5 and February 15, 1928
HMV Album 54 (D 1521 through D 1524), four 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC file, 100.66 MB)
Link (MP3 file, 60.12 MB)

It's worth noting that this is one of the few Coates recordings made by HMV that did not get issued in the USA by Victor - an honor that even most of his acoustical recordings enjoyed. I presume that is because Koussevitzky recorded the Suite from Petrouchka at about the same time, as his first recording with the Boston Symphony, and Victor considered the Coates set, complete though it was, superfluous. (Victor had issued the Goossens recording in 1925.)


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  3. Thanks so much for this extraordinary rarity. I'm a huge fan of Coates -- nearly every record he cut strikes me as compelling and inspired -- but I'd never come across this set before. Typically, the interpretation is full of fascinating moments yet the balances seem surprisingly off in spots, especially in the first tableau. But you've made it available once more -- thanks again!!

  4. I think I like this better than Stokowski's '37 recording, a statement rare for me to make about anything Stoki put on disc. This swept me away from the 1st measure. I laid back in a darkening room lost in the world Stravinsky created and Coates and the LSO brought to life. Thank you for this experience.

  5. A wonderful treat, Bryan. Thank you for this fine sounding transfer!

  6. Incredible sound and so lively interpretation. Thanks a lot Bryan !!

  7. What an amazing rarity. Thanks so much Bryan.

  8. A treat for the ears! thanks...