Rafi Zabor’s Updoc, Fri 4/11 & Tues 4/15

Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic recorded what is probably the dominant modern interpretation of Stravinsky’s Sacre du Printemps in one session in Brooklyn at the Hotel St. George in January 1958—just listen to how closely the contemporary go-to recording by Valery Gergiev follows it—and it’s probably still the most exciting version on record (if you want something different, try Fischer/Budapest). No orchestra had sounded anything like Lenny’s Phil—so vigorous and American and bursting with muscle—and Stravinsky himself said “Wow!” when he hard them play his piece (though of course, it being Igor, his single syllable was not unironic). The recording was remastered a couple of years ago, reissued with Gray Foy’s wonderful cover art, and it strips away reverb and reveals fresh detail, perhaps at the price of some harshness. I would have used it on the show—Updoc, 8PM Friday and noon next Tuesday, Hotel St. George time—but the version I have access to had little quarter-second gaps between the fourteen tracks, so I went with the 1993 digitation, which still rocks the house just fine. For the rest of the show I rounded up some usual suspects: seasonal tunes you’d expect from Miles and Brownie, Sarah Vaughan and Julie London both hung up the most, Bill Evans, Astor Piazzolla, Django . . . Then back to Lenny and the Phil, appropriately manic fit to burst on Schumann’s “Spring” Symphony. It’s been a long tall bitch of a winter here in New York and the new season needs all the boosterism it can get.GrayFoyLarge

Comments are closed.