Complete Recording? I Doubt It...
Aronne | 12/19/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not familiar enough with Giselle to be certain of this version's completeness. While the cover declares clearly that this is a complete recording, the tracks are labeled in such a way that makes it difficult for me to compare with Wikipedia's list of numbers. But I DO know that all other complete versions of Giselle that I've seen spread onto two discs. This one times in at under 67 minutes! Perhaps repeats are simply removed. The notes give no hints, only a synopsis and some historical background to the ballet.
The performance is musically capable, as one would expect from Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Of particular note is the brief Variation de Loys is performed with wonderful vigor. It doesn't *always* dance to the degree that one might wish, but on the whole I find this recording a musically satisfying (if not musically complete) performance. The recording gives tutti strings something of a digital edge, which is slightly distracting.
This will probably remain my only Giselle, unless I find Bonynge's recording for a low price (Adolphe Adam: Giselle) (which I did).
April 2010 EDIT: I have since listened to two other complete recordings of Giselle. Mogrelia on Naxos (Adam: Giselle) and Bonynge on Decca both include a couple large interpolations. The Marriner recording lacks these, numerous repeats, and even a couple whole numbers. It's a pleasing recording, but not complete."