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Stravinsky album review – Klassekampen

“Stravinsky spoke of musicians as craftsmen who should reproduce the composer’s intentions, and his own intentions have a square matter-of-factness about them. Parts where the musicians can excel with superb playing that sucks in the stomach are absent in his music. Regardless of whether we are dealing with his neoclassicism or his primitive style, the music is about balance – and the performers looking over Stravinsky’s compositional process.

We hear how the musicians almost write the score after the introduction, where Mäkelä balances the orchestral sound with razor-sharp clarity so that each instrument can take its place in a thick web of controlled chaotic voices … And perhaps the Firebird is even more elaborate than the Rite of Spring, but here too I want to tone down the virtuosity. The more I listen, the more fascinated I become by the play of colors and all the components Mäkelä handles …. The colors, time variations and feelings Mäkelä philosophizes about together with his French orchestra, write listening literature worthy of serious study.”

Klassekampen, Magnus Andersson, 25 March 2023