Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Jacques Offenbach, Leo Delibes, Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky|
Famous Ballet Music ~ Gaîté Parisienne, The Sleeping Beauty, Coppélia, Les Sylphides / von Karajan, Berlin PO
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Ballet bon bons German style
Larry VanDeSande | Mason, Michigan United States | 06/26/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Herbert von Karajan was the most recorded conductor in history. For that reason, he made a lot of records (that turned into CDs) like this one -- collections of well-known music that the public wants to hear over and over again. This group of ballet music is good, done in Karajan's typical highly chiseled style with a minimum of sentimentality. I once read a critic who called the style Karajan and Szell popularized the "school of industrial perfection", meaning every note in its place every time. That's true here, too. My favorite among these bon bons is the Tchaikovsky music from "Sleeping Beauty". Karajan is still hailed today for his later stereo version of the final Tchaikovsky troika of symphonies. Many critics put him up there with the best Tchaikovksy recordings ever. You can tell why critics were so persuaded by listening to his bleeding chuncks from "Sleeping Beauty". Not only does it contain the essential Berlin Philharmonic perfection and polish, it goes a little further than everything else on this set in terms of emotional attachment. The first two sections of the music, "Introduction. La Fee da Lilas" and "Adagio. Pas d'action" pack an enormous wallop. The final section is monumentally done by Karajan and the Berliners, surging forward in waves of sound and emotion until the listener is swept away during the crescendo in almost unconscious grandeur. I urge you to listen to this magnificent music-making and try not to develop goose flesh at the peak. This connection between perfection, music and emotion is what set Karajan apart from every other conductor in the 20th Century, and the reason he is as vivid and a larger than life figure today, 15 years after his death."
First-Rate Ballet Music
Michael B. Richman | Portland, Maine USA | 11/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This collection of "Famous Ballet Music" from DG's mid-priced "2CD" series is truly first-rate. A lot of the credit for that goes to the man in charge of this set, Herbert von Karajan. The great conductor leads the Berlin Philharmonic through glowing highlights and suites from Offenbach's "Gaite Parisienne," Gounod's "Faust," Tchaikovsky's "Sleeping Beauty" and Delibes' "Coppelia," and the complete Chopin's "Les Sylphides" and "Dance of the Hours" from Ponchielli's "La Gioconda." Of course, the pieces featured here are the types of orchestral nuggets that someone like Karajan and the Berliners could eat for breakfast while reading the paper. But Karajan really prided himself in being one of the stereo-age's best Tchaikovsky conductors, and he made several recordings of each of the three ballet suites in addition to his many Symphonic Cycles. Also, his early 1960s accounts of the Chopin and Delibes in particular (the remainder of the works were recorded in the early 1970s), are as good, if not better, than any performance I have heard. In all, this is a collection that will appeal to the casual fan and serious collector alike."
Alison Mixon | 05/05/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I am a ballet teacher and bought this CD to choreograph dances for recitals. It is an excellent, comprehensive collection of ballet music with beautiful orchestrations and strong tempos for dancing. I am very satisfied and have plenty of selections to choose from in the future."