La Bayadère (The Temple Dancer) is a ballet, originally staged in four acts and seven tableaux by the Ballet Master Marius Petipa to the music of Ludwig Minkus. It was first performed by the Imperial Ballet at the Imperial Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, on February 4, 1877.
Ludwig Minkus is generally regarded as a minor composer who turned out ballet scores on demand. La Bayadere shows that Minkus must have had at least a touch of genius for it is a truly beautiful work. On this 2-CD set the great ballet conductor, Richard Bonynge, gives a performance which displays all of this undeservedly-obscure ballet's beauty and appeal. The armchair listener can admire spirited playing by the orchestra, sensitive violin solos by Donald Hazelwood and the vivid recording quality.
I just surrendered, listened and let the music weave its own enchantment right down to the last moments...