We braved the cold weather and rain last night to hear the 1945 version of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite at the DSO. This was the first time I’ve heard the piece live and it was quite impressive. Even when you know exactly what’s coming the dynamic range and volume of a live orchestra can still catch you by suprise. The 1945 version is a bit longer than the more common 1919 version (which was itself a revision of the original 1910-11 work) and utilizes a piano instead of celeste.
For my money, the best performance of the Firebird Suite is still the Telarc recording of Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony doing the 1919 version. This is definitely one of those recordings which utilizes the full dynamic range available on CD.
In other news, the ever-increasing level of spam on the net resulted in a new upgrade of the spam filtering measures on NCC’s primary mail server yet again. We’ve been using RBL for a while and it does catch some spam but not much. I’ve now added the new (and experimental) ORBS database that’s updated hourly. It’s been working great so far. RBL was catching maybe 2 or 3 spams per day but the ORBS server caught 56 in the first 24 hours. There is still a fair amount getting through but it’s back to manageable levels.