Date of purchase: 2011.
First listen: 21-11-2013.
Second listen: 19-1-2018.
CD 1 from 10.
Recording dates: April 1974, March 1981 & April 1982.
Venue: Kingsway Hall, London.
Engineer: Not mentioned.
Running time: 81:16.
Gioachino Rossini, arr. Benjamin Britten.
Frederic Chopin, orch Roy Douglas.
Johann Strauss I & II, Josef Strauss and Eduard Strauss.
Le Beau Danube.
National PO, Richard Bonynge.
It is an absolute delight to come back to Ballet music, which for me comes first in classical music.
But then I have a strong affinity and connection to the world of ballet.
This box I played some time ago, so I took it from my collection to be again charmed by the world of Ballet a constant source of pleasure.
The Soirées musicales and Matinées musicales by Gioachino Rossini, arranged by Benjamin Britten are a marvel. The pinpoint accuracy of the scoring and a matching orchestra, and the never failing ear of Richard Bonynge make for a reference performance. Riveting!
Les Sylphides by Frederic Chopin, and orchestrated Roy Douglas, has many fine points but tends to be a bit slow at places, with which you score points obviously, but the preludes and nocturnes suffer a tad in expression, and the natural light footedness suffers also in the bargain. Again the National PO and Richard Bonynge save the day by keeping the flow intact, and gets great effect by highlighting all the wonderful details. The tempi are adapted to the choreography of the ballet, so much is clear.
Le Beau Danube, by the Strauss family is a familiar confrontation with all the fine melodies they composed. It is a virtual delight to hear it, and concluding that it is eminently suitable for ballet. It was recorded as far back as in 1982, but the sound is State of the Art as all the recordings in this series on Decca. I am a bit miffed by the fact that the sound engineers are not named.
I look forward to the rest in this box.