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The Gift of Music | CDs | Opera & Ballet | Music for Ballet Lovers
Opera & Ballet Favourites
Music for Opera Lovers
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Music for Ballet LoversDance classicsGreat classics from the world of ballet and a celebration of elegant dance. Includes musical highlights from Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, La Boutique Fantasque, Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet and other well-known works. 1 Waltz - Pas d'Action - Panorama from The Sleeping BeautyPeter Ilych Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Don Jackson2 Nocturne from La Boutique Fantasque Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868) / RespighiLondon Symphony Orchestra conducted by Don Jackson3 Dance of the Mirlitons from The NutcrackerPeter Ilych TchaikovskyLondon Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Don Jackson4 Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy from The NutcrackerPeter Ilych TchaikovskyLondon Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Don Jackson5 Waltz from Swan LakePeter Ilych TchaikovskyLondon Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Don Jackson6 Dance of the Cygnets from Swan LakePeter Ilych TchaikovskyLondon Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Don Jackson7 Dance of the Knights from Romeo and JulietSergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)The Minnesota Orchestra conducted by Stanislaw Skrowaczewski8 Dance of the Hours from La GiocondaAmilcare Ponchielli (1834-1886)Cincinnati Pops Orchestra conducted by Erich Kunzel9 Ritual Fire Dance from El Amor Brujo Manuel de Falla (1876-1946)Vienna Symphony Orchestra conductesd by Edouard van Remoortel10 Introduction - Danses des Adolescentes - Jeu de Rapt - Jeux des Cités Rivales - Cortége du Sage - Adoration de la Terre from Le Sacre de PrintempsIgor Stravinsky (1882-1971)Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jansug KakhidzeCCL CDG1256Cover image: Russian Ballet Konstantin Andreevich Somov © Ashmolean Museum / Mary Evans(p) & © 2011 Classical Communications LtdMade in Great BritainTchaikovsky was the leading ballet composer of nineteenth century Russia. Of Ukrainian and French descent, his career centred around Moscow, where he was revered by later generations for the sheer beauty of his musical style, its capacity to move and its technical brilliance in orchestration. The lush sound-worlds of The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker are instantly recognisable and quite unique, and the melodies for his set-piece dances are amongst the most famous ever composed. Tchaikovsky was, in his later years, adopted informally as Russia's national composer. His popularity is attested to by the fact that Tsar Alexander III requested that the St. Petersburg production of his opera Eugene Onegin be staged in the Bolshoi Theatre, rather than the smaller Mariyinsky Theatre. This demonstrated that Tchaikovsky's music was replacing Italian Opera as the official imperial art. Tchaikovsky worked closely with his choreographer Petipa because, as is well known, ballet is as much about the spectacle as about the music. Stravinsky was similarly influenced by his own choreographer and commissioner of works, Diaghilev, who with the Ballet Russes was responsible for some of the greatest works of the twentieth century, such as The Rite of Spring. Prokofiev also worked with Diaghilev, and there are further links connecting these composers, in that arguably Prokofiev's most famous ballet Romeo and Juliet may have taken its inspiration from Tchaikovsky's own work of the same name. Tchaikovsky admired the operatic works of Rossini, who equally was enamoured of Tchaikovsky's stage works.Rossini's own offering in this genre, La Boutique Fantasque, is a charming work with a score of limpid beauty. De Falla followed the more aggressive tendencies of some of Prokofiev's music in his own work, although they are inevitably infused with a special Spanish flavour. El Amor Brujo, or 'the Three-Cornered Hat' is his most famous work. Ponchielli, like Rossini, was also primarily an operatic composer, who included ballet sections within his work. 'The Dance of the Hours' from La Giaconda is an example of this, and shows a true lyric style.
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