Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
This Naxos segment catalogue contains a wealth of music from the world of ballet, from the genre’s inception right through to its contemporary forms. This rich resource has its roots in the Italian Renaissance and 17th century French theatre, but ballet in the form we generally know it today emerged during the Romantic era developments of the 19th century. 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.

Now check out the following list of Ballet Music releases specially selected for you, as well as our dedicated Ballet Music segment catalogue – which can be downloaded by clicking the image of the catalogue on the right.

Click on the cover to view catalogue

New and Recent Releases

Naxos 8.573123
MASSENET, J.: Ballet Music
- Bacchus / Hérodiade / Thaïs / Le Cid

Barcelona Symphony and Catalonia National Orchestra, P. Gallois

Jules Massenet is best known for operas such as Manon and Werther, but his less familiar stage works are also packed with superb intermezzos and ballet music. Evocative scenes bring the mythical story of Bacchus to life, while Hérodiade deals with the tragic biblical narrative of Herod, Salome and St John the Baptist. Turbulent temptations and passions clash with monastic life in Thaïs, and the Spanish dances of Le Cid bring us into worlds of fragrant tenderness, defiant pride and exuberant celebration.

Naxos 8.573186
PROKOFIEV, S.: Symphony No. 4 (revised 1947 version) /
The Prodigal Son

São Paulo Symphony, Alsop

Prokofiev’s imposing Fourth Symphony and his final ballet for Sergey Dyagilev, The Prodigal Son, share common roots but are entirely distinctive in character. The vivid depictions in the ballet’s moral tale include sensual temptations, drunken debauchery, robbery and remorse. The 1947 revision of the Fourth Symphony, lengthened and enriched in orchestration by the addition of a piccolo clarinet, piano and harp, makes extended use of themes from The Prodigal Son as well as unused material. Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony with Marin Alsop and the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra (8.573029) was described as “an outstanding achievement” by BBC Music Magazine.

Naxos 8.573113
PETITGIRARD, L.: Little Prince (The) [Ballet]
Budapest Studio Choir, Honved Male Choir, Hungarian Symphony Orchestra Budapest Soloists, Petitgirard

The prize-winning French composer Laurent Petitgirard has earned acclaim for his unusually powerful theatrical imagination. His strikingly creative ballet score for Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) was first performed at the Avignon Opera in May 2010. Petitgirard centres his score around a chorus, alternating instrumental sonorities to remarkable effect, and evoking the essence of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s text in its movement from dream to reality, and from mystery to innocence.

Naxos 8.559758
COPLAND, A.: Rodeo / Dance Panels / El salon Mexico / Danzon cubano
Detroit Symphony, Slatkin

While Copland’s hugely successful celebration of the American West, Rodeo, has become an American classic, Dance Panels is barely known despite working beautifully as a concert work. Based on popular Mexican melodies, the glittering, even exotic El Salón Mexico is one of Copland’s most frequently performed works. Of his rhythmically complex Danzón Cubano, inspired by a visit to a dance hall in Cuba, in which there were two orchestras playing at both ends, the composer himself wrote: “I did not attempt to reproduce an authentic Cuban sound but felt free to add my own touches of displaced accents and unexpected silent beats.” GRAMMY® Award-winning conductor Leonard Slatkin’s recording of Copland’s Lincoln Portrait (8.559373–74) received “the kind of performance that brought tears to my eyes” (Audiophile Audition).

Naxos 8.573095
FREITAS, F. de: Silly Girl's Dance (The) / The Wall of Love / Suite medieval / Ribatejo
Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Cassuto

Frederico de Freitas was one of Portugal’s most prolific composers, whose highly successful ballets are inspired by local folklore and romance. The Silly Girl’s Dance is a work of exuberant musical vitality about a timid village girl who turns out to be the loveliest of them all. The Wall of Love describes innocent amorous encounters, the Medieval Suite conjures ‘the fragrance of medieval Portuguese poetry’, while dances, songs and ‘fiestas’ are evoked in the lively Ribatejo.

Naxos 8.573122
KARAYEV, K.: Seven Beauties / The Path of Thunder
Royal Philharmonic, Yablonsky

Born in Baku, Kara Karayev was one of Dmitry Shostakovich’s most distinguished pupils. Karayev absorbed his teacher’s influence, binding it to his own distinctive use of native Azerbaijani folk melodies and harmonies to produce music in an eclectic range of genres. The Seven Beauties is the first full-length Azerbaijani ballet, and the suite heard here brims with an exotic array of appealing rhythms and melodies. The Path of Thunder uses elements of African and Afro-American music in its exploration of the theme of forbidden love in apartheidera South Africa. Karayev’s Symphony No. 3 and other orchestral works can be heard on 8.570720.

More Acclaimed Ballet Music Releases






View our special weekly features:
View all Features »


Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group