Notes & Reviews:
This unique program is the first time that all the ballet music from Verdi's operas has been brought together in a single recording. Although The Four Seasons from I vespri siciliani (The Sicilian Vespers) and the ballet scenes from Aida and Otello have survived, substantial pieces from Il trovatore and Don Carlo are more often cut, while the ballet from Jérusalem is all but unknown. José Serebrier's recordings with the Bournemouth Symphony have resulted in some great successes with unusual repertoire. This release will be of interest both to opera enthusiasts and to those eager to explore Verdi's neglected and relatively small body of concert music.
David's Review Corner
For the first time you can enjoy a Naxos Blu-ray audio disc for the same price as the CD equivalent Naxos having using the Blu-ray's increased playing time to place it on one disc. Enthusiastic as I am of the CD version this month, if you have the Blu-ray equipment it really is one-way traffic, as the difference between the two is quite significant. The feel that you are in the concert hall, even in conventional stereo - the Blu-ray disc also plays in a surround sound mode - makes this version quite remarkable. There is equally an improvement in the front to back perspective of the orchestra, and I had to take the volume control down a notch after playing the CD to accommodate the Blu-ray's greater dynamic range. If you wait while the neighbours are out you can really wallow when in the surround sound mode.
Fanfare Magazine, September/October 2012
There are fine, comprehensive notes to accompany the disc, and Naxos's recorded sound is well balanced and clear, if a bit closer-in than the Chandos. While not all of this music is at Verdi's most inspired level, none of it is unworthy of our attention. Second-rate Verdi is still better than most composers' gems! Serebrier's colorful, charming, and highly committed performances, and the Bournemouth Symphony's excellent playing, make this a highly recommendable disc.
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