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Ballet was born from the late Renaissance movement in Europe, combining the classical skills of music, dance and drama. Its origins can be traced back to the dance traditions of the nobility in the French and Italian courts of the fifteenth century. The creation of classical ballet as we know it was developed under the auspices of Louis XIV, and was then further refined in France and Russia in the nineteenth century into the hugely influential and highly skilled concert dance form with which we are familiar today.

The Naxos catalogue contains a wealth of music for ballet throughout history. Renowned scores can be found alongside new discoveries, all performed to world class standards, and all capable of bringing the excitement and atmosphere of the stage into your music collection.

Ballet Music Releases in 2012

ADAM Giselle (Highlights)
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
Andrew Mogrelia

Of his many works for the stage, Adolphe Adam’s ballet Giselle ou Les Wilis is the best-known. The story is based on a legend in which the Wilis, or ghosts of unmarried girls, seek revenge on the living. Speedily written amidst a hotbed of Parisian infatuations and given a timeless parochial setting, this archetypal romantic ballet has everything from unrequited love to deceit, drama, tragedy, and conciliatory resolution. Andrew Mogrelia has been acclaimed for conducting of ‘warmth, grace and vitality’. (The Penguin Guide on Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty)

MARTINŮ La revue de cuisine (Complete Ballet)
Robert Hill, harpsichord
Klaus Simon

Ranging from 1927 to 1959, the year of Martinů’s death, these four works reveal his unceasing versatility in chamber repertoire. La revue de cuisine, heard here in a recent reconstruction of the original complete score, is a supreme example of Martinů’s jazz style. In Les rondes he evokes his Moravian folk heritage. The Harpsichord Concerto is resourcefully scored and brilliantly crafted, whilst Chamber Music No 1 (‘Les fêtes nocturnes’), one of his last works, sees no cessation of his invention nor of his delight in atmospheric colour.

ROUSSEL Le festin de l’araignée, Padmâvatî – Suites
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Stéphane Denève

One of Roussel’s most performed orchestral works, The Spider’s Banquet was composed during his earlier impressionistic period, and depicts the beauty and violence of insect life in a garden. Roussel’s experiences as a lieutenant in the French Navy first introduced him to Eastern influences, and the ‘opera-ballet’ Padmâvatî was inspired by his later visit to the ancient city of Chittor in Rajasthan state of western India. It uses aspects of Indian music to evoke this city’s legendary siege by the Mongols.

VERDI Complete Ballet Music from the Operas
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
José Serebrier

This unique programme 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.

GREAT BALLET [10-CD boxed set]
various artists

This collection starts in France, with one of the most haunting and memorable examples of the ballet form: Adam’s Giselle. We are then swept along in a whirlwind tour of some of the greatest Russian ballets by such great composers as Prokofiev, Khachaturian and Shostakovich, while no ballet anthology would be complete without Tchaikovsky’s three Romantic masterpieces Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker. From Delibes to Stravinsky, this collection amply demonstrates why ballet remains one of the most loved musical genres.

various artists

A bird dancing, an ox on a roof, flowers doing a waltz, a swan twirling about…what world is this? This is the magical world of ballet. The stage is full of people in colourful costumes, but nobody speaks. All the stories are told by music and dancing. Composers have written such exciting pieces for ballet: listen to this collection and see which ones you like best!

Other Ballet Music Releases

BARTÓK The Miraculous Mandarin (Complete Ballet)
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop

BAYER The Fairy Doll (Complete Ballet)
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
Andrew Mogrelia

DELIBES Coppélia (Complete Ballet), La Source (Suites)
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
Andrew Mogrelia

DELIBES Sylvia (Complete Ballet)
SAINT-SAËNS Henry VIII (Ballet Music)

Razumovsky Sinfonia
Andrew Mogrelia

KRAUS Fiskarena (Ballet), Pantomimes
Swedish Chamber Orchestra
Petter Sundkvist

PROKOFIEV Romeo and Juliet (Complete Ballet)
National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine
Andrew Mogrelia

RAVEL Daphnis et Chloé (Complete Ballet)
MDR Rundfunkchor, Leipzig
Orchestre National de Lyon
Jun Märkl

SHOSTAKOVICH The Golden Age (Complete Ballet)
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
José Serebrier

STRAVINSKY The Firebird, Petrushka
Philharmonia Orchestra
Robert Craft

STRAVINSKY The Rite of Spring, The Nightingale
London Symphony Orchestra • Philharmonia Orchestra
Robert Craft

SULLIVAN Pineapple Poll (Complete Ballet, arr Mackerras)
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
David Lloyd-Jones

TCHAIKOVSKY The Nutcracker (Complete Ballet)
GLAZUNOV Les Sylphides

Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
Ondrej Lenárd

TCHAIKOVSKY The Sleeping Beauty (Complete Ballet)
Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra
Andrew Mogrelia

TCHAIKOVSKY Swan Lake (Complete Ballet)
Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Dmitry Yablonsky

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