Related Reviews
BBC Music Magazine
4½ Stars
Performance 4 / Recording 5: 'For anyone wanting an English language account of this key Stravinsky masterpiece...this set has much to offer....the disc merits a strong recommendation.'
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Fanfare
'...this new release joins this exalted company in my pantheon...an unequivocal recommendation.'
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Pizzicato
Supersonic Award: 'The musicians from the Royal Academy of Music deliver a fresh and at the same time mature version of these works.'
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Scherzo
'Linn Records has assembled an impressive cast in a very attractive version of Igor Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale.'
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HiFi Sound
'...this Linn Records set sounds crisp, vibrant, and entirely captivating.'
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Diapason
4 Stars
'The remarkable musicians of the Royal Academy of Music Manson Ensemble forget their (relative) lack of truculence with exemplary energy and daring.'
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All Music
4½ Stars
'...a complete and highly entertaining performance of this innovative theatrical work...'
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Kerk en Leven
'...fascinating and enchanting...'
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MusicWeb International
'...the young players of the Royal Academy really revel in these and play with guts and a swagger which must be just what Stravinsky intended.'
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The Arts Desk
'...as versions of the original go, this new one is a winner. It's conducted, brilliantly, by Oliver Knussen, leading a flawless student ensemble.'
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The Art Music Lounge
'In short, this is a terrific release, so good, in fact, that I chose to replace the Nagano-Sting recording with it in my collection.'
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Crescendo
5 Stars
'Oliver Knussen offers a sharp and lucid reading...'
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The Sunday Times
'[A] remarkable disc...'
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Europadisc
'...this new account goes straight to the top of the pile...a dazzling account of a modern classic.'
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BBC Radio 3 'Record Review'
'The chief delight is the characterful brilliance of the instrumental playing from the RAM ensemble under Oliver Knussen.'
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Financial Times
4 Stars
'Harriet Walter’s lively Narrator is paired with two august composers in the other speaking roles.'
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The Guardian
4 Stars
'...the playing of the Royal Academy's Manson Ensemble is taut, fearless and detailed.'
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Gramophone
'Anyone who knows Knussen's magical disc of seemingly intractable late Stravinsky (DG, 10/95) or his unbeatable Fairy's Kiss (DG, 11/97) will want this one too.'
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Royal Academy of Music Manson Ensemble & Oliver Knussen - Stravinsky: The Soldier's Tale - The Scotsman


27 March 2017
The Scotsman
Ken Walton
4 Stars

This disc from the Royal Academy of Music Manson Ensemble under Oliver Knussen's direction features work composed by Stravinsky and inspired by him. The centrepiece is Stravinsky's Faustian A Soldier's Tale, with actress Dame Harriet Walter as a characterful narrator, composer Sir Harrison Birtwistle as a sardonic Mancunian-accented Soldier, and George Benjamin as a charmer of a Devil. The musical performance is one of stinging clarity and incision, qualities that feature consistently in the selection of miniature Stravinsky tributes that also fill this disc. From the punchy, explosive burst of Stravinsky's own Fanfare for a New Theatre and Peter Maxwell Davies' elemental Canon ad honorem Igor Stravinsky and Canon in memoriam Igor Stravinsky, to Birwistle's austere Chorale from a Toy Shop (2 versions) and his ghostly Tombeau in memoriam Igor Stravinsky, these are thoroughly refreshing performances, characteristic of Knussen's cool and calculated directorial style.

 


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Igor StravinskyIgor Stravinsky
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Royal Academy of MusicRoyal Academy of Music
Stravinsky: The Soldier's TaleStravinsky: The Soldier's Tale