Author Topic: Favorite Ballets  (Read 15915 times)

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Offline smitty1931

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Favorite Ballets
« on: March 25, 2011, 02:37:31 PM »
I am new to this forum. I am a long time Ballet fan. I saw Nureyev and Fontyn dance Giselle in 1963, than some years later I saw Baryshnikov and Kirkland dance Giselle at the Kennedy Center.I saw both the Kirov and Bolshoi do Swan Lake at Wolf Trap in Virginia. I have been to the Marinsky in St Petersburg. I have an excellent collection of Ballets on DVD. Three I recommend are  Merry Widow on kultur D 4529, Coppelia with the Australian Ballet on Kultur D 2114 and Snow White with Tamara Roja DG 004404416. I recently purchased Flames of Paris and was impressed by the dancing of Natalie Osipova. I have 8 versions of Swan Lake and I like the ABT version best but the La Scala version is beautifully mounted and danced. I would be interested in hearing  from fans other favorite versions of the great ballets.

Willoughby earl of Itacarius

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Re: Favorite Ballets
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2011, 03:00:59 PM »
I am a great fan of ballet, and I think I have most of the existing music, at least that what is recorded. Watching ballet is one of my favourite past times. If it comes to my most beloved dancers, it would fill too many pages.

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Re: Favorite Ballets
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2011, 03:33:20 PM »
I posted this on the 'Ballet on DVD' thread, but thought I'd post it again here.



Any fan of ballet music (hello Harry!) :) will most definitely want to see this production by Opus Arte.  To be noted, this was my very first listen to the complete Sleeping Beauty ballet, and I was incredibly impressed, with both the music and the beautiful, lavish production on this DVD.  Now, Sleeping Beauty has nowhere near the same amount of dramatic content as does Swan Lake or Prokofiev's Romeo & Juliet.  However, that is about the only thing that is lacking (if indeed one is looking for dark and dramatic moments in spades in ballet).

Choreography by Marius Petipa and Sir Peter Wright
Holland Symfonia, conducted by Ermanno Florio

Principal dancers:

Princess Aurora - Sofiane Sylve
Prince Florimund - Gael Lambiotte

Het Nationale Ballet (Dutch National Ballet)

Release date:  2004

Beautiful, colorful, ornate, lavish sets and gorgeous, sumptuous costumes.  Sofiane Sylve is breathtaking.  Gael Lambiotte also is brilliant as the Prince.  Happy to say, that on a local note, Gael Lambiotte is now one of the principal dancers with my local Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and I've seen him dance on several occasions, and he is absolutely marvelous!

I can't recommend it highly enough for ballet lovers!   :)

Smitty, I'm a huge fan of ballet, and there are many on here who are as well, probably Harry being the most notable.  :)

Willoughby earl of Itacarius

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Re: Favorite Ballets
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2011, 11:36:34 PM »
Yep have that one, and I agree with you, its a real treasure.

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Favorite Ballets
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2011, 12:26:40 PM »
Another ballet fan here, thought most of it is through listening. I don't get a chance to watch many, but the Mezzo channel often has something, many of which I watch when I catch them.
Offenbach gets a raw deal in recordings considering his talent! For a discussion of this outstanding composer too little recorded: http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,5572.

Offline ChamberNut

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Re: Favorite Ballets
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2013, 05:18:52 PM »
Neal, have you gone through this entire box set yet?  What a treasure trove box set this is!  I still have 7 unlistened to discs (and all new works too!)

I think Harry also hasn't quite completed his entire first run through.

Anyone else have this set?

My only wish was if this set had included more 20th Century ballet, including Shosty's The Golden Age, and Bartok's Miraculous Mandarin and The Wooden Prince.

However, what is included in here, is fantastic!  :)


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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Favorite Ballets
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2013, 06:37:20 PM »
Shosty's The Golden Age, and Bartok's Miraculous Mandarin and The Wooden Prince.

Some of my favorite ballets, Ray! I think Shostakovich's The Golden Age is the most underrated of these three.
"In the next world, I shan't be doing music, with all the striving and disappointments. I shall be being it.” - Ralph Vaughan Williams

Offline ChamberNut

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Re: Favorite Ballets
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2013, 06:38:48 PM »
Some of my favorite ballets, Ray! I think Shostakovich's The Golden Age is the most underrated of these three.

Yes, I believe I will eventually get the Serebrier/Naxos recording, that I sampled some years ago through my public library.  :)
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Favorite Ballets
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2013, 06:58:57 PM »
Yes, I believe I will eventually get the Serebrier/Naxos recording, that I sampled some years ago through my public library.  :)

There are three recordings of the complete ballet: Serebrier, Rozhdestvensky, and Simonov. The only one I lack is the Simonov. Anyway, the Serebrier is my favorite and is excellent. The RNSO really strut their stuff in this particular performance.
"In the next world, I shan't be doing music, with all the striving and disappointments. I shall be being it.” - Ralph Vaughan Williams

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Favorite Ballets
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2013, 07:22:25 PM »
Neal, have you gone through this entire box set yet?  What a treasure trove box set this is!  I still have 7 unlistened to discs (and all new works too!)

I think Harry also hasn't quite completed his entire first run through.

Anyone else have this set?

My only wish was if this set had included more 20th Century ballet, including Shosty's The Golden Age, and Bartok's Miraculous Mandarin and The Wooden Prince.

However, what is included in here, is fantastic!  :)



I don't actually have the box. I do have 70-80% of those performances though (purchased separately before it came out) and I have a few ballets that I don't think are in this box (like a few from Adam, for example, or Bayer). Most of what I don't have from this box - well I just have a different version on a differerent label (like Mackerras in the Nutcracker). I really love ballet music though, so always looking to get something I don't know.  For anyone who is new to ballet or just doesn't have many on disc, that box is the one to get. It has some great performances.
Offenbach gets a raw deal in recordings considering his talent! For a discussion of this outstanding composer too little recorded: http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,5572.

Offline ChamberNut

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Re: Favorite Ballets
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2013, 07:29:45 PM »
I don't actually have the box. I do have 70-80% of those performances though (purchased separately before it came out) and I have a few ballets that I don't think are in this box (like a few from Adam, for example, or Bayer). Most of what I don't have from this box - well I just have a different version on a differerent label (like Mackerras in the Nutcracker). I really love ballet music though, so always looking to get something I don't know.  For anyone who is new to ballet or just doesn't have many on disc, that box is the one to get. It has some great performances.

Oops, my mistake Neal.  ;D  Which Adam ballets are you talking about?  This box does include Giselle and Le Corsaire.

Another ballet I wish was on here was Beethoven's 'The Creatures of Prometheus'.
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Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Favorite Ballets
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2013, 09:15:36 AM »
Oops, my mistake Neal.  ;D  Which Adam ballets are you talking about?  This box does include Giselle and Le Corsaire.

Another ballet I wish was on here was Beethoven's 'The Creatures of Prometheus'.
Adam wrote others as well, for example these two (both very enjoyable):




There is a wonderful Promethes with Mackerras conducting on Hyperion. But I have always wanted to hear the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra version - they are so good in everything they do.
Offenbach gets a raw deal in recordings considering his talent! For a discussion of this outstanding composer too little recorded: http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,5572.

Offline Ten thumbs

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Re: Favorite Ballets
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2013, 02:33:34 PM »
If you get the chance, go and see La Bayadère - it has everthing classical ballet ought to have - a real delight.
A day may be a destiny; for life
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A look—a word—and we are wholly changed.

Offline Adam of the North(west)

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Re: Favorite Ballets
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2013, 02:49:56 PM »
I love all of Copland's ballets, especially Billy the Kid, and Bartok's Miraculous Mandarin is a favorite. Stravinsky's Agon is great, and I wish more of Stravinsky's later ballets got as much attention as the first three.
He had the kind of humor that would make cats laugh, if cats could laugh.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Favorite Ballets
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2013, 03:05:15 PM »
I love all of Copland's ballets, especially Billy the Kid, and Bartok's Miraculous Mandarin is a favorite. Stravinsky's Agon is great, and I wish more of Stravinsky's later ballets got as much attention as the first three.

Agree on points. Have you heard Copland's Dance Panels? This is a fantastic ballet IMHO.
"In the next world, I shan't be doing music, with all the striving and disappointments. I shall be being it.” - Ralph Vaughan Williams

Offline ChamberNut

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Re: Favorite Ballets
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2013, 07:54:58 AM »
Happy to report that after almost two years since purchasing this marvelous box set, I've completed listening to every disc!  I go in 'ballet music binges'!

For me, the greatest single discovery (there are dozens and dozens I could mention), but I'll mention just one:

Delibes - Sylvia



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Offline jochanaan

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Re: Favorite Ballets
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2013, 04:33:30 PM »
Recently I've been checking YouTube for videos of Le Sacre du Printemps.  Out of several versions, I think my favorite is the Pina Bausch/Wuppertal video.  Amazing what that woman could draw from the dancers, especially on a blank stage dressed in minimal outfits! 8)
Imagination + discipline = creativity

Offline Jeffrey Smith

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Re: Favorite Ballets
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2013, 07:03:28 PM »
[Part of a post I made earlier this evening to the Purchases Today thread.  I'd prefer to post in the Ballet on DVD thread, but I can't locate it at the moment.]

From the library, two DVDs, one of Shirley Verrett in Cavalleria Rusticana, and the second of Gergiev conducting Stravinksy at the Mariinsky Theater--Firebird and Rite of Spring.   
The Rite of Spring was interesting because it uses a reconstruction of the original sets and costumes, and Najinksy's original choreography. ( A similar effort was aired many years ago on PBS as part of Dance in America.)   Frankly, without a track listing and cast listing,  it would be hard to figure out what was supposed to be represented by the dancing.  At least in Najinksy's version,  the Rite is better heard than seen, and since I was focusing so much on figuring out the dancing,  I didn't take in enough of the instrumental performance to say how Gergiev did, and how it might sound as an audio only performance.  As it is, I'd say this is a performance to watch once and only once.

Firebird had nice production values, and uses the Fokine choreography.  The filming in both ballets was marred by too much use of overhead shots, which made for nice Busby Berkeley effects but didn't improve the experience of the performances as dance.  A while back I viewed a DVD of the Royal Ballet doing Firebird and Les Noces.  That performance also used the Fokine choreography, and while the production values--meaning sets and costumes--were not as good as this Mariinsky production,  it was marginally better from the terms of actually viewing the performance.  Les Noces was also a better experience.  As an aside, it used the choreography for that work devised by Najinskaya,  and at the time of first viewing it seemed rather unique and groundbreaking--but having seen this Najinsky Rite,  it was obvious that she derived much of the gestural and dance vocabulary from that.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Favorite Ballets
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2013, 07:26:03 PM »
Of course, I have to give mad props to Prokofiev's ballets: Romeo & Juliet, Cinderella, On the Dnieper, The Prodigal Son, The Stone Flower, Le Pas d'Acier, and Chout. He was such a natural in this medium.
"In the next world, I shan't be doing music, with all the striving and disappointments. I shall be being it.” - Ralph Vaughan Williams

Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Favorite Ballets
« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2013, 08:29:52 PM »
Of course, I have to give mad props to Prokofiev's ballets: Romeo & Juliet, Cinderella, On the Dnieper, The Prodigal Son, The Stone Flower, Le Pas d'Acier, and Chout. He was such a natural in this medium.

+1 Not a dull one in there.

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