Notes & Reviews:
Before Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, and Minkus there was Adolphe Adam- whose Giselle was one of the first great Classical ballets. Here Richard Bonynge offers a rarely recorded performance of Adam's original version which all ballet fans, as well as those who simply enjoy tuneful, well crafted orchestral music are sure to enjoy. Decca's sound is also remarkably good- especially for it's vintage .
Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Giselle has drawn harsh words from the more superior music critics, but the public has taken it to heart for its atmospheric writing and tender and haunting themes. The text used here is the complete original score; Bonynge's desire to rerecord it lies in matters of performance and interpretation. Reviews of his previous version, made with the Monte Carlo Opera Orchestra in 1970, spoke of the limitations of the woodwind Orchestral Adam and brass, and suggested that a little more rehearsal time might have brought benefits.
Here the musicians of the Royal Opera House bring both a confidence of attack and a refinement that aren't quite achieved by the Monte Carlo players. That same extra confidence of attack is displayed by Bonynge himself. Each of the discs of this issue is between one-and-a-half and two minutes longer than the older recording, but the dramatic moments are more vigorously attacked and the slower ones more lovingly caressed - always to considerable effect.
Add recorded sound that's warmer and more spacious, and there's no hesitation in acknowledging the superiority of this version over the old. Without a doubt, this represents the first choice version of Adam's complete score.
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Works DetailsAdam, Adolphe : Giselle
- Conductor: Richard Bonynge
- Running Time: 2 min. 23 sec.
- Period Time: Romantic
- Form: Ballet
- Written: 1841