Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Adam, Adolphe – Giselle (Ballet) - Bonynge, Orchestra of the ROHCV

Richard Bonynge elicits mixed feelings as a conductor. There have been many criticisms of his technique, not without justification. Nevertheless, he is a fine musician who knows his scores and how he wants them to sound. He achieves fine results when paired with an orchestra sympathetic to his aims. His manAdolphe Adamy fine ballet recordings, of which this Giselle is one, have been great additions to the catalog. He has said that Adolphe Adam is his favorite composer, and this recording bespeaks great affection on Bonynge's part. It is uncut, the first time I have heard the score this way, plus with a few common interpolations by other composers. The orchestra (Royal Opera House Orchestra Covent Garden) plays with tenderness or gusto as required. The early digital 1986 sound engineering holds up pretty well, with good detail and dynamic range, and with only a touch of steeliness to the violins. Because of the Urtext attributes of this recording, it would be very hard to recommend another in its place. As good as some of the highlights recordings are of Giselle, the full score really demands to be heard, especially in such a fine performance. --David Seaman
cd info
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