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Stephen Wright
American Record Guide, November 2016

Mr Gergiev gives us essentially a pre-concert lecture, discussing the composer and the composition itself, combined with a master class and bleeding chunks of a rehearsal performance. It will surprise no one familiar with Gergiev’s style that he uses adjectives like light, clear, and shiny when describing his performance ideals to the Rotterdam musicians and that he demands strict adherence to the score. We also get a few charming, interesting, funny video comments about Rite, in English and subtitled French, from Stravinsky himself. Gergiev reveals that he’s studied the two-piano Rite arrangement and demonstrates how it informs his cool, steely interpretation. © 2016 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

James H North
Fanfare, September 2016

One of the most exciting scenes has Gergiev and Alexander Toradze playing the four-hand piano score. They are having a ball—Toradze says it is the time of his life…

It is all fascinating; we learn almost as much about [Gergiev] as about Le sacre. His rehearsals seem uncertain and inefficient, with no method. Nevertheless, the results are magnificent. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review

Charles Pope Jr., April 2016

STRAVINSKY, I.: Story of Stravinsky`s Le Sacre du Printemps (The) (Documentary, 1999) (NTSC) 109210
STRAVINSKY, I.: Story of Stravinsky`s Le Sacre du Printemps (The) (Documentary, 1999) (Blu-ray) 109211

…the film’s main interest are the rehearsals with veteran Russian conductor Valery Gergiev and the Rotterdam Philharmonic preparing a performance of Le Sacre. These segments offer an enlightening glimpse into the methods of an experienced conductor who knows what he wants and communicates this with his players verbally as well as on his Hamburg Steinway. …he cautions players not to pay undue attention to others nearby, but to focus on their own work—it’s the conductor’s job to put everything together—he seems to be reminding them. © 2016 Read complete review

Kevin Filipski
The Flip Side, April 2016

Igor Stravinsky’s once-controversial, now-classic ballet caused a riot in 1913 but is now part of the standard repertoire, and 1999’s revealing The Story of…provides Russian conductor Valery Gergiev’s thoughts on the work—with Stravinsky himself chiming in through vintage interview footage in both English and French—along with orchestral excerpts Gergiev leads. In 1996’s informative documentary Blood, composer Wynton Marsalis discusses his own large-scale composition of the same name, a jazz-classical hybrid that won the Pulitzer Prize for Music. The Blu-ray visuals look decent enough. © 2016 The Flip Side

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