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Verdi: Complete Ballet Music from Operas / Jose Serebrier

Audio Samples

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Otello
>     Act 3. Scene 7. Ballabili (Allegro vivace [Danza turca] - Canzone araba - Invocazione ad
>Verdi, Giuseppe : Macbeth
>     Act 3. Scene 1. Ballo 1
>     Act 3. Scene 1. Ballo 2
>     Act 3. Scene 1. Ballo 3
>Verdi, Giuseppe : Jérusalem
>     Act 3. Scene 1. no 1. Pas de quatre
>     Act 3. Scene 1. no 2. Pas de deux
>     Act 3. Scene 1. no 3. Pas de solo
>     Act 3. Scene 1. no 4. Pas d'ensemble
>Verdi, Giuseppe : Don Carlo
>     Act 3. Scene 2. Ballo della regina (La Peregrina)
>Verdi, Giuseppe : Aida, opera
>     Act 1. Scene 2. Dance no 3. Danza sacra delle sacerdotesse
>     Act 2. Scene 1. Dance no 4. Danza dei piccoli schiavi mori
>     Act 2. Scene 2. Dance no 5. Ballabile
>Verdi, Giuseppe : Il trovatore
>     Act 3. Scene 1. no 1. Pas des Bohémiens -
>     Act 3. Scene 1. no 1. Gitanilla -
>     Act 3. Scene 1. no 1. Ensemble
>     Act 3. Scene 2. no 2. Sevillana -
>     Act 3. Scene 2. no 2. Echo du soldat
>     Act 3. Scene 2. no 3. La Bohémienne
>     Act 3. Scene 2. no 4. Galop
>Verdi, Giuseppe : I vespri siciliani
>     Act 3. Scene 2. Le quattro stagioni. L'inverno
>     Act 3. Scene 2. Le quattro stagioni. La primavera
>     Act 3. Scene 2. Le quattro stagioni. L'estate
>     Act 3. Scene 2. Le quattro stagioni. L'autunno

Album Summary

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Otello
>Verdi, Giuseppe : Macbeth
>Verdi, Giuseppe : Jérusalem
>Verdi, Giuseppe : Don Carlo
>Verdi, Giuseppe : Aida, opera
>Verdi, Giuseppe : Il trovatore
>Verdi, Giuseppe : I vespri siciliani
Conductor Ensembles Composer

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. GRAMMY®-winner conductor and composer José Serebrier is one of today's most recorded classical artists. He has received 39 GRAMMY® nominations in recent years. His First Symphony (8.559648) was premièred by Leopold Stokowski (who premièred several of his works) when Serebrier was 17, as a last-minute replacement for the then still unplayable Ives Fourth Symphony.

"So what do we have? Well, for a start, a really fine ballet sequence depicting the four seasons from I vespri siciliani that should be included in the concert stage repertoire as it is a gorgeous piece of music lasting around half an hour. Then we have almost a potpourri of the best known melodies from the opera in the ballet sequences from Il Trovatore. Thankfully I have never seen on stage a production that includes the ballet sequence to disturb the third act of Otello, worthy though the music may be, and I would have to say much the same about the Don Carlo ballet which adds a quarter of an hour to an already long evening. Maybe some dancing witches would be fun in Macbeth, but heaven knows how you find a reason to include a ballet in Jerusalem, a story of the Crusades. Yet it is this one—lasting almost twenty minutes—that is the most engaging. The conductor, José Serebrier, speaks passionately for their inclusion in his booklet notes, and that passion carries over into these performances from the Bournemouth Symphony. I guess it is the first time they have encountered any of it, save, maybe, the Aida excerpts, but they play it with that strong feeling of familiarity, instrumental solos all of outstanding quality. The recording has plenty of impact, and comes down to the most atmospheric pianissimos." -David's Review Corner

"A finely-nuanced, well-balanced, firey, full of energy, and characterful version from the traditional master José Serebrier, which is at once authentically freshly Italian and full of blooming cantabile... The rarities from Macbeth, Don Carlos, Trovatore and others—really unknown— from Jerusalem are absolutely fascinating, even though we were not expecting any real surprises. The strong music from the well-known numbers from Otello and Aida, the wonderful Four Seasons Ballet from Vespri Siciliani and the melancholy Summer, all have an intimate magic." -Crescendo

"You might say that it doesn’t take much interpretive insight to conduct Italian ballet music, but ultimately the goal is always the same: to avoid boredom. This may be even harder in music whose purpose is largely decorative and expressively limited. It’s to Serebrier’s (and Verdi’s) credit that there isn’t a bar here that fails to entertain, or that doesn’t make an excellent case for believing that this music is of much higher quality than its reputation suggests. The ballet from Aida is well known, of course, but that from Otello is a minor masterpiece in a strikingly similar vein. “The Four Seasons” ballet from I vespri siciliani is Verdi’s largest, lasting a solid half an hour, and it’s wonderfully performed here. It has moments that you might mistake for Delibes or Tchaikovsky. Don Carlos is also fully mature Verdi, while the ballet in Macbeth is pretty well known as it’s often included in modern performances of the opera (the witches’ waltz at the end is particularly fun). The two big “finds” for most listeners will be the extensive ballet music from Jérusalem (a.k.a. I lombardi), and the similarly large-scale (20 minutes) dance episodes from Il trovatore. This last item quotes the “gypsy” tunes from the opera’s first act, including the Anvil Chorus, and it’s really delightful. The sonics are clear and vivid, and with a playing time of nearly two hours, this set easily becomes the modern reference for this undervalued repertoire." -Classics Today (10/10)

David's Review Corner
To meet the demands of the wealthy young men of the famous Jockey Club in Paris, opera composers were obliged to write a ballet for their Paris performances. Many simply held up the dramatic action and were inserted against all the instincts of the composer. I guess it is the first time they have encountered any of it, save, maybe, the Aida excerpts, but they play it with that strong feeling of familiarity, instrumental solos all of outstanding quality. The recording has plenty of impact, and comes down to the most atmospheric pianissimos.

Crescendo (Germany)
Stylistically reminiscent Serebrier occasionally some of Victor de Sabata and early, not yet jaded Toscanini. Also, the sharp, martial is played with verve, but it never tipped into uncontrolled. The rarities from Macbeth, Don Carlo, Il Trovatore and the unknown-from-especially fascinated JTrusalem, although no surprises are expected, it is as strong as the more familiar musical numbers from Otello and Aida and the beautiful four seasons off, I verspri Siciliani ', and the melancholy summer embraces with intimate charm.

WQXR (New York)
The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra under José Serebrier makes a strong case for the complete Verdi ballet scenes: Otello, Macbeth, Jérusalem, Don Carlo, Aida, Il trovatore and I vespri siciliani.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: The Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, UK (05/15/2011-05/17/2011).



Reviews

Verdi Ballet Music Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Serebrier
Opera-ballet was a popular genre of French Baroque opera. Ballets in operas were a favorite of two prominent French composers, Jean-Baptiste Lully and Jean-Philippe Rameau. Though it remained primarily a French tradition to include a ballet sequence in an opera, the custom spread to England, Germany, and Italy. The custom continued through the Classical period and into the Romantic period. Throughout most of the 19th century, Parisians expected, even demanded, that operatic performances should contain ballet sequences. Famous composers from these periods who added ballet sequences to their operas include Mozart, Gluck, Gounod, Auber, Rossini, Meyerbeer, and even Wagner, who included the "Bacchanal" music in his opera "Rienzi" for its Paris performance.
Usually, ballets comprised interludes unessential to the plot, but were they were connected to it by some superficially plausible reason. Their purpose was to offer a diversion from the purely dramatic and vocal segments of the opera. Verdi included ballets in only seven of his 28 operas. He apparently disliked the habit, for he eventually insisted that his publisher should exclude the ballet sequences from his published operas because they disrupt the continuity of the action. Nowadays, ballet sequences are frequently omitted from opera performances, presumably for the same reason.
This 2-CD set gathers, for the first time ever, according to the Naxos sleeve-notes, all of Verdi's ballet music into a single offering. The sleeve-notes, written by conductor Jose Serebrier, point out that whenever he conducts a Verdi opera, he has to insist that the ballet scenes be included, because most of them are either omitted from published scores or included as an optional addendum. The performances sound splendid, and the sound quality of the recording is excellent. If you are a Verdi fan, you will surely enjoy these performances.
Ted Wilks
Submitted on 04/08/12 by Ted Wilks 
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Works Details

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Otello :: Act 3. Scene 7. Ballabili (Allegro vivace [Danza turca] - Canzone araba - Invocazione ad
  • Conductor: José Serebrier
  • Ensemble: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: The Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, UK (05/15/2011-05/17/2011)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1887

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Macbeth :: Act 3. Scene 1. Ballo 1
  • Conductor: José Serebrier
  • Notes: The Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, UK (05/15/2011-05/17/2011)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1847

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Macbeth :: Act 3. Scene 1. Ballo 2
  • Conductor: José Serebrier
  • Notes: The Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, UK (05/15/2011-05/17/2011)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1847

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Macbeth :: Act 3. Scene 1. Ballo 3
  • Conductor: José Serebrier
  • Notes: The Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, UK (05/15/2011-05/17/2011)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1847

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Jérusalem :: Act 3. Scene 1. no 1. Pas de quatre
  • Conductor: José Serebrier
  • Notes: The Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, UK (05/15/2011-05/17/2011)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1847

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Jérusalem :: Act 3. Scene 1. no 2. Pas de deux
  • Conductor: José Serebrier
  • Notes: The Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, UK (05/15/2011-05/17/2011)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1847

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Jérusalem :: Act 3. Scene 1. no 3. Pas de solo
  • Conductor: José Serebrier
  • Notes: The Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, UK (05/15/2011-05/17/2011)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1847

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Jérusalem :: Act 3. Scene 1. no 4. Pas d'ensemble
  • Conductor: José Serebrier
  • Notes: The Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, UK (05/15/2011-05/17/2011)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1847

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Don Carlo :: Act 3. Scene 2. Ballo della regina (La Peregrina)
  • Conductor: José Serebrier
  • Notes: The Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, UK (05/15/2011-05/17/2011)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1884

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Aida, opera :: Act 1. Scene 2. Dance no 3. Danza sacra delle sacerdotesse
  • Conductor: José Serebrier
  • Notes: The Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, UK (05/15/2011-05/17/2011)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1871

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Aida, opera :: Act 2. Scene 1. Dance no 4. Danza dei piccoli schiavi mori
  • Conductor: José Serebrier
  • Notes: The Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, UK (05/15/2011-05/17/2011)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1871

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Aida, opera :: Act 2. Scene 2. Dance no 5. Ballabile
  • Conductor: José Serebrier
  • Notes: The Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, UK (05/15/2011-05/17/2011)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1871

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Il trovatore :: Act 3. Scene 1. no 1. Pas des Bohémiens -
  • Conductor: José Serebrier
  • Notes: The Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, UK (05/15/2011-05/17/2011)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1853

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Il trovatore :: Act 3. Scene 1. no 1. Gitanilla -
  • Conductor: José Serebrier
  • Notes: The Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, UK (05/15/2011-05/17/2011)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1853

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Il trovatore :: Act 3. Scene 1. no 1. Ensemble
  • Conductor: José Serebrier
  • Notes: The Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, UK (05/15/2011-05/17/2011)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1853

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Il trovatore :: Act 3. Scene 2. no 2. Sevillana -
  • Conductor: José Serebrier
  • Notes: The Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, UK (05/15/2011-05/17/2011)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1853

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Il trovatore :: Act 3. Scene 2. no 2. Echo du soldat
  • Conductor: José Serebrier
  • Notes: The Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, UK (05/15/2011-05/17/2011)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1853

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Il trovatore :: Act 3. Scene 2. no 3. La Bohémienne
  • Conductor: José Serebrier
  • Notes: The Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, UK (05/15/2011-05/17/2011)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1853

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Il trovatore :: Act 3. Scene 2. no 4. Galop
  • Conductor: José Serebrier
  • Notes: The Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, UK (05/15/2011-05/17/2011)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1853

>Verdi, Giuseppe : I vespri siciliani :: Act 3. Scene 2. Le quattro stagioni. L'inverno
  • Conductor: José Serebrier
  • Notes: The Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, UK (05/15/2011-05/17/2011)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1855

>Verdi, Giuseppe : I vespri siciliani :: Act 3. Scene 2. Le quattro stagioni. La primavera
  • Conductor: José Serebrier
  • Notes: The Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, UK (05/15/2011-05/17/2011)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1855

>Verdi, Giuseppe : I vespri siciliani :: Act 3. Scene 2. Le quattro stagioni. L'estate
  • Conductor: José Serebrier
  • Notes: The Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, UK (05/15/2011-05/17/2011)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1855

>Verdi, Giuseppe : I vespri siciliani :: Act 3. Scene 2. Le quattro stagioni. L'autunno
  • Conductor: José Serebrier
  • Notes: The Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, UK (05/15/2011-05/17/2011)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1855