I prefer this to almost any other arrangement. It has far less of the late-romantic schmaltz than other versions–which strike me as sentimental.
I actually didn’t realise this was Stravinsky’s arrangement for a long time. It just seemed like a very crisp, spare orchestration which I felt struck the right tone—perhaps maybe a bit too spare but overall far better than the alternatives. But once I learned it was Igor, all I started hearing was the droning quality; the ‘Russian-ness’.
I mention this because John Williams debuted his arrangement of The Star Spangled Banner last night and I was disappointed. With all his greatness, he too couldn’t resist overdoing it with all the usual ruffs and flourishes that make people think of soaring eagles. Rolling their eyes.
So I’ll stick with Stravinsky.