Is there any doubt that Robert Craft is the reigning Stravinsky conductor of our time? His years of friendship with, apprenticeship to and quasi-adoption by Stravinsky certainly give him bona fides for this, but it is his impeccable musicianship that tells here. These performances have appeared before on CD Jeu de cartes and Danses concertantes on Koch, and the Scènes de Ballet, Variations, and Capriccio on MusicMasters all recorded in the 1990s. Naxos is in the process of re-releasing on their own label all of Craft's Stravinsky recordings of that period (plus a few new ones done specifically for them) and the series is an undiluted triumph.
This Naxos disc is a coupling of two recordings originally issued by Koch. Both the recordings were part of Robert Craft's continuation of the complete Stravinsky edition he had begun on MusicMasters. Craft's second Oedipus Rex is less than entirely compelling. Martyn Hill is a virile Oedipus and Jennifer Lane is a noble Jocasta, but Craft is a bit too restrained in his rhetoric and a tad too reserved in his dramatics.