Friday, February 28, 2014

L'Oiseau-Lyre SOL 60050: Colin Davis' dynamic Stravinsky

L'Oiseau-Lyre SOL 60050

Stravinsky: Dumbarton Oaks, Danses Concertantes, Concerto in D

Colin Davis, conductor
English Chamber Orchestra

Pressing: 2nd label

Condition: NM-


Date first published: 1962

Performance: 10/10

Sound: 9/10

Price range: $25-46, mean of $33 on popsike

Comments:  I've been meaning to write a short review of this album for a couple of months now, ever since I first picked it up at a local record store for $4.99.  This was a shocker ... I had yet to be blown away by a L'Oiseau-Lyre LP, but from the jubilant opening measures of the Danses Concertantes, I was instantly impressed with the incredibly natural sound of the recording, not to mention great dynamic range, and a wide and deep soundstage.  The repertoire might be somewhat less familiar and less recorded, but I found the music highly captivating and thoroughly enjoyable.  This is "neo-classical" Stravinsky, all composed between the years of 1938 and 1946, and quite different in style (though no less colorful or rhythmically interesting) than his more famous ballets such as The Firebird, Petrouchka, and The Rite of Spring.  If you like works like the Pulcinella Suite, I suspect you will enjoy this album.  The English Chamber Orchestra is in excellent form here, lead by a relatively young, pre-knighted Colin Davis.  Tempos in general aren't quite as brisk as Stravinsky's own in his stereo Columbia recordings, but the music nevertheless pulses with energy.  You shouldn't have to break the bank to find yourself a copy, but if you're eager to hear the music before landing the LP, you'll be pleased to know that this album has been reissued by Decca on CD.

Hands down, this is one I will listen to time and time again.  Highly recommended, and my LP of the week!

**My apologies, since I wrote this review in my office, but cover art is to come!


  1. Is this the small label? If so, I'd presume this to be an early helium cooled Neumann cutting. I've found the SOL series quite confusing as the earliest examples are blue backs, but then quickly all I see (in the USA) are the small labels from the 1970's.

    Argo is another interesting sublabel, but I think it showed up in the late sixties????

    1. This is a small label which can easily be seen in the updated photo. It is a Neumann cut.

  2. Musically, I'd like to have this LP. I am a big Pulcinella fan. I probably have the Stravinksy versions on Columbia for most of these pieces.