Russian Ballets

Russian Ballets
Composer Aram Ilyich Khachaturian, Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Sergei Prokofiev
Artist Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Novosibirsk Symphony Orchestra
Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra
Format 3 CD
Cat. number 95409
EAN code 5028421954097
Release November 2016

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About this release

Towards the end of the 19th century, ballet was declining in popularity in Western Europe but acquired an increased significance in Russia. This was thanks in part to the music for dancing which had been part of native operas ever since Glinka founded a school and tradition with Ruslan and Ludmila and A Life for the Tsar. However, it was also due to a succession of gifted French choreographer such as Marius Petipa that the St Petersburg ballet flowered.

Minkus, Delibes and Adam, among many others, were commissioned for scores by Petipa, but it was with Tchaikovsky that ballet music would alter radically, away from its incidental, accompanimental role and towards a symphonic status which is recognised by the ballets on this compilation being at least as famous for their music as their dancing. Petipa was responsible for commissioning the composer’s most familiar ballet – perhaps the best-loved ballet of all, The Nutcracker, on which the composer exercised all his mastery of timing and orchestration.

Although Serge Diaghilev was the great innovator in commissioning and choreographing music for dancing at the turn of the last century, his example was ignored in Russia under Soviet rule. The great state companies in Leningrad and Moscow continued the 19th century tradition of full-evening ballets to which these examples by Prokofiev (Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella and the more rarely encountered Stone Flower) and Khachaturian (Spartacus and Gayaneh) belong. ‘Dancing,’ said the Danish choreographer August Bournonville, ‘is an expression of joy, a desire to respond to the rhythm of the music.’ That joy is amply illustrated by the suites from eight ballets in this compilation, which would make an invaluable introduction to the art-form.

This 3CD set contains a highly attractive selection of the most iconic ballet music by Russian composers: Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty (Tchaikovsky), Cinderella, Romeo & Juliet, Stone Flower (Prokofiev) and Spartacus, Gayane (Khachaturian). Music full of enchanting melodies, weighless pas-de-deux, and exciting Russian Dances (Sabre Dance!).
Superb performances by the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra (conductor Evgeny Svetlanov), the Novosibirsk SO (conductor Arnold Katz) and the famous Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Swan Lake, Op. 20, Act I: II. Waltz. Tempo di valse
  2. Swan Lake, Op. 20, Act II: X. Scene – Swan Theme. Moderato
  3. Swan Lake, Op. 20, Act II: XIII. Dance of the Little Swans. Allegro moderato
  4. Swan Lake, Op. 20, Act II: XIII. Pas d’action – Second Dance of the Queen. Andante non troppo – Allegro
  5. Swan Lake, Op. 20, Act III: XX. Hungarian Dance. Csárdás (Moderato assai – Allegro moderato – Vivace)
  6. Swan Lake, Op. 20, Act III: XXI. Spanish Dance .Allegro non troppo. Tempo di bolero
  7. Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66, Act I: The Spell. No. 6 Waltz. Allegro. Tempo di valse
  8. Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66, Act I: The Spell. No. 8 pas d’action. Rose adagio. Andante – Adagio meastoso
  9. Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66, Act II: The Vision. No. 17 Panorama A.ndantino
  10. Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66, Act III: The Wedding. No. 24 pas de caractère. Allegro moderato
  11. Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66, Act III: The Wedding. No. 28 pas de deux. Adagio. Andante non troppo
  12. Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66, Act III: The Wedding. No. 28 pas de deux. Coda. Allegro vivace
  13. Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66, Act III: The Wedding: No. 30 Finale. Alegro brillante. Tempo di mazurka
  14. The Nutcracker, Op. 71: Miniature overture
  15. The Nutcracker, Op. 71, Act I: II. March
  16. The Nutcracker, Op. 71, Act II: No. 12 Divertissement. Coffee. Arabian Dance
  17. The Nutcracker, Op. 71, Act II: No. 12 Divertissement. Tea. Chinese Dance
  18. The Nutcracker, Op. 71, Act II: No. 12 Divertissement. Trepak. Russian Dance
  19. The Nutcracker, Op. 71, Act II: No. 12 Divertissement. Dance of the Reed Pipes
  20. The Nutcracker, Op. 71, Act II: No. 14 Pas de deux. Variation 2. Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
  21. The Nutcracker, Op. 71, Act II: No. 13 Waltz of the Flowers

Disk 2

  1. Cinderella – Suite No. 1, Op. 107: I. Cinderella
  2. Cinderella – Suite No. 1, Op. 107: II. Pas de châle
  3. Cinderella – Suite No. 1, Op. 107: III. Quarrel
  4. Cinderella – Suite No. 1, Op. 107: IV. Fairy Godmother and the Winter Fairy
  5. Cinderella – Suite No. 1, Op. 107: V. Mazurka
  6. Cinderella – Suite No. 1, Op. 107: VI. Cinderella Goes to the Ball
  7. Cinderella – Suite No. 1, Op. 107: VII. Cinderella’s Waltz
  8. Cinderella – Suite No. 1, Op. 107: VIII. Midnight
  9. The Stone Flower – Suite No. 1, Op. 126: I. Love Scene
  10. The Stone Flower – Suite No. 1, Op. 126: II. Dance of the Groom's Men
  11. The Stone Flower – Suite No. 1, Op. 126: III. Dance of the Young Girls
  12. The Stone Flower – Suite No. 1, Op. 126: IV. Ritual Dance
  13. The Stone Flower – Suite No. 1, Op. 126: V. Wedding Dance
  14. Romeo And Juliet – Suite No. 2, Op. 64ter: I. Montagues and Capulets
  15. Romeo And Juliet – Suite No. 2, Op. 64ter: II. Juliet as a Young Girl
  16. Romeo And Juliet – Suite No. 2, Op. 64ter: III. Friar Laurence
  17. Romeo And Juliet – Suite No. 2, Op. 64ter: IV. Dance
  18. Romeo And Juliet – Suite No. 2, Op. 64ter: V. Romeo and Juliet Before Parting
  19. Romeo And Juliet – Suite No. 2, Op. 64ter: VI. Dance of the Maids
  20. Romeo And Juliet – Suite No. 2, Op. 64ter: VII. Romeo at Juliet’s Grave

Disk 3

  1. Gayaneh – Ballet Suite: I. Dance of the Rose Maidens
  2. Gayaneh – Ballet Suite: II. Aysha’s Dance
  3. Gayaneh – Ballet Suite: III. Dance of the Highlanders
  4. Gayaneh – Ballet Suite: IV. Lullaby
  5. Gayaneh – Ballet Suite: V. Noune’s Dance
  6. Gayaneh – Ballet Suite: VI. Armen’s Var
  7. Gayaneh – Ballet Suite: VII. Gayaneh’s Adagio
  8. Gayaneh – Ballet Suite: VIII. Lezghinka
  9. Gayaneh – Ballet Suite: IX. Dance with Tambourines
  10. Gayaneh – Ballet Suite: X. Sabre Dance
  11. Spartacus – Ballet Suite: I. Introduction – Dance of the Nymphs
  12. Spartacus – Ballet Suite: II. Aegina’s Dance
  13. Spartacus – Ballet Suite: III. Scene and Dance with Crotalums
  14. Spartacus – Ballet Suite: IV. Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia
  15. Spartacus – Ballet Suite: V. Dance of The Gaditan Maidens – Victory of Spartacus