Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Jacques Offenbach, Tchaikovsky, Camille Saint-Saens|
Fête du Ballet - A Compendium of Ballet Rarities / NPO, LSO, Richard Bonynge
In Addition to his Many Opera Recordings for Decca Over the Years Conductor Richard Bonynge also Made Arguably an Even Greater Cultural Contribution with These Often First and Only Recordings of These Important Ballets Rar... more »
In Addition to his Many Opera Recordings for Decca Over the Years Conductor Richard Bonynge also Made Arguably an Even Greater Cultural Contribution with These Often First and Only Recordings of These Important Ballets Rarities. Unfortunately the Bulk of the Repertoire Here is Known Mostly to Dancers Than to Those who Simply Enjoy Outstanding Orchestral Music- and it is to the Latter that this Set Couldn't Be More Urgently Recommended. For Ballet Professionals and Music Librarians, this Quintessential Offering is a Must.
Gems of 19th Century Ballet
ATP | Santa Monica, CA United States | 06/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The sub-title of this 10-CD set is "A Compendium of Ballet Rarities," and that's certainly true. While you'll hear the well-known Tchaikovsky Black Swan pas de deux, the reason to invest in Fete du Ballet is that you just can't find most of these gems elsewhere. For instance, Pugni's Pas de Quatre - a triumph of diplomacy as well as dance - is here in its entirety. So is Drigo's La flute Magique and Offenbach's Le Papillon.
But this collection really shines when it comes to excerpts: the grand pas from Paquita, the pas de deux from Flower Festival in Genzano, the Drigo interpolations for Le Corsaire and La Esmeralda.
If you've searched in vain for the out-of-print Ballet Gala: Art of the Prima Ballerina and Ballet Gala: Pas de Deux, look no further. You'll find virtually every track on Fete du Ballet. Two CDs are devoted entirely to the pieces Pavlova performed.
One oddity: there is absolutely nothing by Delibes in this collection. Perhaps Bonynge felt his four CD set, The Three Ballets, was the last word on Delibes.
But that shouldn't discourage anyone from acquiring this amazing collection. Bonynge has a real feel for 19th century music; he treats the works of Pugni, Minkus and Adam with loving care."
Absolutly Magnificent Set of the Bonynge Recordings of Rarel
MrLopez2681 | USA | 09/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Richard Bonynge pioneered recording the works of the long-neglected ballet composers of the 19th century. Through his passion for opera, and conducting performances and recordings of the worlds greatest Prima Donna singers, Bonynge realized that the other kind of Prima Donna, the Classical Prima Ballerina, had long been ignored as far as her music being recorded was concerned.
With the aid of the great ballerina Dame Alicia Markova, he conducted his first release of ballet music "The Art of the Prima Ballerina" (released by Decca in the early 1960's). This release included some of the most famous excerpts of ballet by the obscure composers of the 19th Century Imperial Ballet - Leon Minkus, Cesare Pugni, and Riccardo Drigo among others. More releases followed, including "Pas de Deux", and "Homage to Pavlova". In 1992, all of the great recordings of ballet music done by Bonynge were digitally remastered and released onto CD. Unfortunatly, due to the obsure nature of the music, these very special releases soon went out of print. In 2001, Decca Classics decided to compile all of the Bonynge releases of ballet music into this magnificent 10-CD set.
All of the music is tuneful, apt, colorful, and 100% dansante. Included are two ballets by Riccardo Drigo (composer of the famous pas de deux from "Le Corsaire", and the arranger of the traditional 1895 version of "Swan Lake") "The Magic Flute" and "The Awakening of Flora", along with his additions for the Marius Petipa revivals of the late 19th century - the 'Diane and Acteon pss de deux' and grand pas de deux from "La Esmeralda", and the John Lanchbery revised version of Drigo's pas de deux for the 1898 revival by Petipa of "Le Corsaire" - this version of the music was used for Fonteyn and Nureyev's performances of the piece. The complete release of "Homage to Pavlova" is included as well, with all of the music Anna Pavlova favored for her programs during her incredible world tours in the 1910's and 20's. Also, there are recordings of "Les Sylphides", Cesare Pugni's famous "Le Grand Pas de Quatre", the Grand Pas Classique from "Paquita" (in a version of the music used for Pavlova's tours), the pas de trois from "Harlequinade", excerpts from the 'Kingdom of the Shades' scene from "La Bayadere" (again in Pavlova's arrangements), the famous "Grand Pas Classique" by Daniel Auber along with his ballet "Marco Spada", Taglioni's ballet "Le Papillon" by Jaques Offenbach, along with MANY MANY MORE gems of ballet!
This is an essential set to be owned by all dancers and balletomanes alike. The music is a great addition to any ballet music collection, and would prove very useful if the need for recorded ballet music should arise for performance, etc.
Absolutly Magnificent - 5 Stars!!"
Gorgeous Ballet Music
Timothy P. Koerner | Great Lakes, USA | 02/16/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Do you enjoy 19th century ballet music (for example Giselle, Coppelia, Sylvia, Sleeping Beauty)? Those are a few of the more familiar and popular ballet scores from this period. But have you heard Marco Spada, La Peri, La Flute Magique, or Mam'zelle Angot? If your answer to the second question is either "yes" or "no", then I think this 10 Cd box is for you. Why?
If you answered no, you are in for some wonderful music. If you answered yes, you've probably heard or owned this music on long unavailable LPs or Cds. In either case, this box entitled "Fete du Ballet" brings together a large amount of rare ballet music from the 1800s performed by some of England's finest musicians directed by Richard Bonynge. From the early 1960s through the 1990s, Australian-born Bonynge, when he wasn't performing and/or recording opera, spent a lot ot time in the Decca ("London" in the USA) recording studios turning out all sorts of delicious albums of long-forgotten ballet scores (as well as most of the familiar ones). Many of these rare ballet recordings have now been placed on 10 well-filled Cds and priced at a bargain rate (at least when I purchased it). All are superbly played (mainly by the London SO, the National Philharmonic, or English CO) in the spectacular sound for which this label has long been famous.
But the rare music is the big attraction here. Ballet scores composed by Riccardo Drigo, Leon Minkus, Friedrich Burgmuller, and Daniel Auber are some of my favorites from the box. This indeed is gorgeous music that may have you wishing you were alive back in the 1800s! Most of the music you won't find anywhere else, and the many positives surrounding the set make acquiring it a no-brainer for ballet lovers.
True, there are a couple features that make me slightly unhappy. For one, Decca's owner (Universal at the time this is written) is infamous among CD collectors for putting these cheap multiple disc packages in cardboard folders that are too small for the CDs. (Worst example would probably be the Philips Great Pianists of the 20th Century series.) What this means is that the CDs are just about impossible to extract from the cardboard folders without handling the surfaces of the discs. This forced me to cut the corners of the cardboard, not a very satisfactory solution. My other complaint is more substantitve and has to do with some selections that did not get included and a few that didn't need to be. Omissions: Adam's Le Diable a Quatre; Massenet's Cigale; and Auber's Gustave III. All three contain great music, are definitely rare, and have been recorded by Bonynge but are also long gone. These could have been included especially if some of the non-rare ballet selections (Chopin's Les Sylphides, Adam's Giselle selections, and excerpts from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake) had been left out. These are not exactly rare, are they?
But, in the end, my complaints are very minor compared to the virtues. Ballet music lovers take note: This box apparently came out in 2001 (ancient history in the recording business); so get it while you can. And a huge thank you to Decca and especially to Richard Bonynge (one of my favorite 20th century musicians) for digging out the scores and making these superb recordings.
Tim Koerner February 2010"