Stravinsky’s Les Noces and Oedipus Rex at the Barbican

Igor Stravinsky
Les Noces/ Oedipus Rex
Andrew Clements [The Guardian, 28 Feb 05]
After opening its brief Barbican residency with Rimsky-Korsakov, the Mariinsky Theatre moved on to less regular territory for the company, with performances of Shostakovich’s The Nose and a Stravinsky double bill. Although the two Stravinsky works — the “choreographic scenes” of Les Noces and the “opera-oratorio” Oedipus Rex — were first performed (both in Paris) just four years apart, in 1923 and 1927 respectively, they belong to different musical worlds, for Les Noces had been conceived much earlier, in the immediate aftermath of The Rite of Spring, and Stravinsky took a decade to perfect its formal shape and scoring.
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Stravinsky/Gergiev, Barbican Hall, London
By Richard Fairman [Financial Times, 2 Mar 05]
Valery Gergiev should go into corporate public relations. Before he took up his post at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, how many people outside Russia could have described the company’s style, or what it stood for, or could claim that they were familiar with its performances?
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This is no masterpiece for a maestro
[Daily Telegraph, 28 Feb 05]
Rupert Christiansen reviews the Kirov Opera at the Barbican
Scholars have dubbed Rimsky-Korsakov’s penultimate opera, Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh, as “the Russian Parsifal”, and I am surrounded, if not besieged, by people who believe it to be a masterpiece of the genre.
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