The Stravinsky Years

Epilogue: Page 1

The Gregg Smith Singers continue to record and perform Stravinsky’s choral works.

Stravinsky pieces done after 1971, recorded by MusicMasters with Robert Craft and the Gregg Smith Singers, include recordings of “Canticum Sacrum,” “The Rake’s Progress,” and two recordings of “Les Noces.”

A 1917 version of “Les Noces” was conducted by Robert Craft and featured the Gregg Smith Singers, the Orpheus Chamber Ensemble and the International Piano Quartet. Soloists were: Rosalind Rees (soprano), Rose Taylor (mezzo-soprano), Richard Nelson (tenor) and Bruce Fifer (baritone). While recorded in New York City for Columbia Masterworks on February 12, 1973 in Waldman Auditorium at Columbia University, New York City, it is listed as a 1974 recording. Record producers were listed as Robert Craft and John McClure. Columbia Masterworks M 33201.

Russian Sacred Choruses “Otche Nasch’ ” (Pater Noster), “Bogoroditse Dievo” (Ave Maria), and “Veruya Va Yedinava Boga Attsa” (Credo) were all recorded by MusicMasters at SUNY, Purchase New York in 1992, with the Gregg Smith Singers (Robert Craft conducting). Many of these recordings were re-released by Naxos in 2006.

Also on the 1992 MusicMaster recording was Stravinsky’s “Russian Peasant Songs,” recorded by the women of GSS, as well as another recording of “Les Noces.”

Soprano soloist Roz Rees recalls that, during the recording of this “Les Noces,” she had to do nearly 40 takes of the first Tableaux. Conductor Robert Craft was taking a very fast tempo, and the pianos and percussion had difficulty getting in sync.

Other recordings at SUNY included Stravinsky’s “Mass” and “Cantata,” which were released by MusicMasters in March 1995, and featured the Gregg Smith Singers. The “Mass” and “Cantata” are available in “Stravinsky the Composer, Volume VII” (MusicMasters Classic), along with the Suite from “Histoire du Soldat.”