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Phil Muse
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, January 2013

As we often notice in big, intricately scored music with an extremely wide dynamic range, it takes a large orchestra with many resources in order to realize Rite of Spring. This score requires double, triple, and even quadruple woodwinds and an enlarged percussion section. Despite the size of the orchestra, much of the music actually has a chamber-music quality and occurs in the context of solos and small groupings. In this 1990 recording, the accomplished musicianship of the various chairs in the Seattle Symphony comes into play time and time again, bringing out surprisingly lyrical passages in the midst of so massive a score. Gerard Schwarz’ fine sense of balance and timing, which we have often had occasion to observe, serves him well here.

The inclusion of Stravinsky’s “Dumbarton Oaks” Concerto…gives the Seattle musicians the chance to shine in a setting in which they typically do surpassingly well. © 2013 Audio Video Club of Atlanta

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