Stravinsky’s tongue-in-cheek morality masterpiece, The Soldier’s Tale, is one of his cleverest and most enduring works, here receiving its first outing on CD, following several requests. It boasts a stellar cast, not only of musicians, drawn from the Boston Symphony and soloists in their own right, but also of the narrators/actors – Sir John Gielgud, Tom Courtenay and Ron Moody, with English texts by Michael Flanders & Kitty Black.
The couplings include the BSCP’s complete LP of chamber music by Stravinsky (the Concertino and Septet being released on CD for the first time), and also works by Schoenberg and Berg, previously unissued internationally on CD.
The Soldier’s Tale
Chamber Symphony No. 1 (arr. Webern)
Adagio (Chamber Concerto)
Sir John Gielgud, narrator
Tom Courtenay (The Soldier)
Ron Moody (The Devil)
Boston Symphony Chamber Players
Recordings: Symphony Hall, Boston, USA, May 1972 (The Soldier’s Tale: music), December 1974 (Octet, Pastorale, Ragtime, Septet, Concertino), April 1978 (Berg: Adagio, Schoenberg: Chamber Symphony); Polydor Studios, London, UK, July 1975 (The Soldier’s Tale: speech)
‘the [Berg and Schoenberg] arrangements are novel and accomplished’ Gramophone
‘The Boston Symphony Chamber Players offer an eminently well-characterised and civilized reading, and they are superbly recorded’ (The Soldier’s Tale) Penguin Guide
‘John Gielgud is a most beguiling narrator … Ron Moody makes a suitably sinister-sounding devil … A really outstanding issue’ (The Soldier’s Tale) EMG Monthly Letter, London
‘absolutely sparkling playing’ (The Soldier’s Tale) Records and Recording
‘The playing and recording are excellent throughout’ (chamber music) Records and Recording
‘These Boston players give immaculately polished accounts of all five works … The recording is excellent – clear without dryness, warm without over-resonance’ (chamber music) Gramophone