Search - Leo Delibes, Anatole Fistoulari, Antal Dorati :: Delibes: Coppélia (complete ballet) / Sylvia (Ballet in Three Acts)

Delibes: Coppélia (complete ballet) / Sylvia (Ballet in Three Acts)
Leo Delibes, Anatole Fistoulari, Antal Dorati
Delibes: Coppélia (complete ballet) / Sylvia (Ballet in Three Acts)
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (19) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (23) - Disc #3

Coppelia is the first of Delibes's two great ballets--they belong with very few 19th-century works that can withstand comparison to Tchaikovsky's three great dance pieces. Delibes, in case you didn't know, is the compose...  more »

      
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Coppelia is the first of Delibes's two great ballets--they belong with very few 19th-century works that can withstand comparison to Tchaikovsky's three great dance pieces. Delibes, in case you didn't know, is the composer of Lakme, which gave us that soprano duet that has become world-famous in the British Airways commercials. He was a superb musical craftsman--an orchestral wizard with an excellent melodic gift. When this history-making recording was made, recordings of complete ballets were virtually unknown. We owe a major debt of gratitude to Antal Dorati and Mercury Living Presence for not only bringing this music to a large and appreciative public, but for doing so in performances that are as recommendable now as when they first appeared. --David Hurwitz
 

CD Reviews

Spectacular intro of French ballet composition to Russian!!!
04/25/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It's my first exposure to music by Leo Delibes. The instruments used, especially, the effect of the mechanical Coppelia is life like and so real. The sound and effects of this recording is good. Antal Dorati is no doubt one of the best ballet conductors. My first ballet music by Antal was the Nutcracker under the Philips label. My favourite piece in Coppelia is Valse (Act 1 Track 11). A beautiful piece of music."
Bring it back in print!
Classic Music Lover | Maryland, USA | 04/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Putting two complete ballets into one CD package makes this set big and expensive. Perhaps that was a mistake on Mercury's part that made it harder to sell copies. But of course, anyone who knows these scores knows how good the Coppelia (Dorati) and Sylvia (Fistoulari) performances really are -- you can tell they were both ballet conductors during their careers, in addition to being active in the concert hall. Richard Bonynge on London/Decca is really the only significant competition interpretively.

Dorati keeps the octane level pretty high in Coppelia -- ballet interpretation doesn't get much more "in your face" than here, but in this score, it really works. Mention must be made of the over-active percussion section, however -- they really are too loud, especially in the Act II Bolero and Final Galop that ends the ballet.

Sylvia was written just a few short years (and a world of difference) later, France in the meantime having been defeated by Bismarck in the Franco-Prussian War and become a republic. Whereas Coppelia is all froth and frivolity (bespeaking the unserious era of Napoleon III and his Second Empire), Sylvia is much meatier stuff. It is said that Tchaikovsky considered Sylvia to be superior to his own ballet music. (It isn't, but Tchaikovsky's opinion says volumes about the quality of Delibes' score.)

Over the years, Americans regularly had the opportunity to see Coppelia performed, but never Sylvia. Finally, in 2005 after nearly 50 years' absence from the U.S. stage, two major ballet companies revived the ballet -- the New York City Ballet and the San Francisco Ballet. Both productions were staged at Lincoln Center during the summer of 2006, and they were absolutely marvelous. (It sure would have been nice if folks leaving the theatre could have gone right out and bought the great Fistoulari performance for their music library.)"
Inspired recordings!
Hiram Gomez Pardo | Valencia, Venezuela | 08/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"One of the most frequent oblivions in which many people tend to fall and overlook is the extraordinary vision and distinctive refinement of Dorati as ballet interpreter.

As a matter of fact while Leopold Stokowoski and Anatole Fistoulari commanded in this sense the idiosyncratic supremacy, Dorati with very low profile achieved important musical triumphs with the genre of the classical ballet.

Distinctness, limpid intonation, textures, harmonies and expressiveness were some of the most important elements you will realize at the moment to listen him. In this snese Dorati was the main Hungarian conductor in this field respect ghis contemporaries (Ferenc Fricsay and Fritz Reiner)

Don't miss this album. It will reward you.

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