“Dark, haunting, and endlessly fascinating, Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale is a work I have been studying since I was a young teenager, and bringing it to blazing life in this production is a dream come true. Certainly the superb ensemble of musicians – headlined by violin superstar Tianwa Yang – brings a level of artistic excellence that is thrilling, and supports the emotional delivery of our trio of actors as they spin this eternal tale of good and evil. Actors Fred Child, Jeff Biehl and Jared McGuire deliver an unforgettable reading of this old Russian fairy tale as Joseph the soldier trades his childhood violin for wealth untold. But can money buy happiness? Listen to this dramatic production and decide for yourself!”
Stravinsky conceived the idea of a small-scale theatrical work towards the end of the First World War. Collaborating with Swiss writer Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz and painter and designer René-Victor Auberjonois, he wrote Histoire du Soldat (The Soldier’s Tale), derived from a Russian folk tale by Alexander Afanasyev. It is scored for narrator, two speakers and an instrumental septet — ‘to be read, played and danced’ as there is also a non-speaking dancing rôle. The Faustian morality tale is rendered as a music drama of extraordinary rhythmic charge and gripping power.
Listen to an excerpt from Part II: The Little Concert
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About the Artists
JoAnn Falletta serves as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic and Virginia Symphony and is the Principal Guest Conductor of the Brevard Music Center of North Carolina. Recipient of the Seaver/National Endowment for the Arts Conductors Award, winner of the Stokowski Competition and the Toscanini, Ditson and Bruno Walter conducting awards, Falletta has also received twelve ASCAP awards and served on the U.S. National Council on the Arts. A champion of American music, she has presented over five hundred works by American composers, including 110 world premières.
Follow this link for JoAnn Falleta's complete Naxos discography.
Fred Child is the host of APM’s Performance Today, the most listened-to classical music radio show in the USA. He is also a commentator and announcer for Live from Lincoln Center on PBS, and has hosted concert broadcasts from around the world. He has been a presenter for BBC Radio 3 and made his acting début in 2011 in a live performance and video project. He has narrated works with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the U.S. Marine Band, at the Aspen Festival, and has given concert talks across the country.
Tianwa Yang was the winner of the prestigious ECHO Klassik Instrumentalist of the Year 2015 Award for her Naxos recording of Ysaÿe’s 6 Sonatas for Solo Violin, and the Best Up-and-Coming Artist 2014 Award, plus the Annual Prize of the German Record Critics 2014, for her Naxos recordings of the Mendelssohn Violin Concertos and Complete Music for Violin by Sarasate. Hailed as “an unquestioned master of the violin” (American Record Guide) who “rises above her competition” (Fanfare), she has quickly established herself as a leading international performer and recording artist.
Actor Jared McGuire is a native of Huntington, New York. His favourite roles include the title character in Master Harold and the Boys with Cape May Stage, Marchbanks in Bernard Shaw’s Candida with Pittsburgh Public Theatre, and Solomon in the regional première of Stephen Karam’s Speech and Debate at the American Theatre Company in Chicago, as well as appearances in the films Grace, SubterraNYa, and Behind the Mirror.
Jeff Biehl is a New York-based actor who has performed on Broadway, Off-Broadway and in regional theatres throughout America, as well as on television and in film. Broadway credits include Machinal with Roundabout. Off-Broadway, he is Ragnar Brovik in the Jonathan Demme film of Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory’s A Master Builder. Television credits include Forever, Southland and several episodes of Law & Order CI,Law & Order S.V.U. and Law & Order.
Since 1997, the Virginia Arts Festival has been transforming the cultural scene in southeastern Virginia, presenting great performers from across the globe both to local audiences and visitors from across the United States and around the world. It has presented numerous world premières and new productions of classical music, dance and theatre from some of today’s most influential composers, choreographers and playwrights. Virginia Arts Festival celebrates its 20th season in Spring 2016.
More recordings of works by Igor Stravinsky
“enormously enjoyable and… indispensable addition to the Stravinsky discography.”
– MusicWeb International
“...performances and recording quality are first rate, and this disc can be recommended very highly.”
– MusicWeb International
“razor-sharp, idiomatically on-the-mark, and insightfully illuminating performances”
“Extremely well played by the London Symphony”