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James A. Alten
Fanfare, July 2010

Anyone who likes the ballet scores of Tchaikovsky will enjoy this. The musical vocabulary is much the same, with rich, colorful romantic Russian tunes and orchestration—Glazunov even employs a celesta in his “Dance of the Marionettes”—although the music here is less substantial. It is not deep, but simply delightful, an elegant sugary confection. For some of his numbers Glazunov draws upon material from 18th-century French dances; the melody in the “Récitatif mimique” bears a more than passing resemblance to that of Ravel’s Pavane. Among the various numbers I find the climactic “Grand pas des fiancés” particularly winning.

Ballet Review, June 2010

Glazunov and Petipa’s 1900 ballet Les Ruses d’Amour is based on the familiar tale of one aristocrat betrothed to another without their even having met, so one dons a disguise and wins the love of the other for herself or himself. Here it’s an eighteenth-century princess who switches places with her maid and wins the love of her fiancé, a marquis.

The score, which draws on some early French tunes and dances, is melodic and charming: a sarabande and a farandole establish the period, but there’s also a big waltz to be up-to-date. No wonder it was successful, if lacking the variety of its immediate predecessor, Raymonda, with its Hungarian color, and of The Seasons, which came just after. But charm it has, as well as Glazunov’s well-known skills in orchestration, as shown by Andreescu and his players.

Michael Cookson
MusicWeb International, May 2010

The Naxos series of Glazunov orchestral works reaches volume 19 with this disc. Composed by Glazunov in 1898 Ruses is also known as The Trial of Damis…The popularity of Les Ruses d’amour has certainly not endured to the same degree as The Seasons and the longer Raymonda ballets that have remained on the fringes of the repertoire…Showing a convincing enthusiasm the Romanian State Orchestra under Horia Andreescu provide creditable playing. I enjoyed the gentle and swaying lyricism of the Introduction and Scene I and in the Recitatif mimique the woodwind-infused music has a distinct bucolic feel. Melody after melody is released in the Sarabanda…One notices the childlike lyricism of the Danse des marionettes and Scenes IV and V are gentle and romantic. The movement Ballabile des paysans et des paysannes is infectious and energetic. I was struck by the soft and tender love music of Grand pas des fiancés which is sugar-coated with a gorgeous line for solo violin and cello. The engaging La Fricassée brings the score to an exciting and energetic conclusion.

Rob Maynard
MusicWeb International, May 2010

…this turned out to be one of the series’ more enjoyable excursions along the by-ways of Glazunov’s oeuvreThe score is certainly a very appealing one. On the one hand, Glazunov makes use of strong elements of pastiche, based on musical forms and even some specific scores from the 17th and 18th centuries. But he combines that, highly successfully, with the typically Russian rhythmic vigour and lyrical Romantic sweep that had characterised his 1898 ballet Raymonda.

Andreescu is, in general, a somewhat self-effacing interpreter who is disinclined to overplay those moments of musical ardour to which Svetlanov, for instance, gives more than full rein. The Russian conductor’s approach is, in fact, consistently the more theatrical one—but I know that there are some who find his usual heart-on-sleeve manner rather too much when heard away from the context of the Front Stalls. Andreescu is clearly a very accomplished musician…whose way with the music is an equally enjoyable one. He is well supported by his skilled orchestra whose obvious abilities suggest that while the odious Ceausescus may have crippled many other aspects of Romanian life in the last decade of their rule, musical standards in the 1980s remained high. The sound engineers have also done a fine, discrete job and the score’s many delicate moments are rendered quite delightfully: Svetlanov, by contrast, is recorded in a more reverberant acoustic that suits his Technicolor interpretation.

Completists will want volume 19 of this Naxos series simply because they already have volumes 1–18 on their shelves. Ballet enthusiasts will enjoy hearing a score that has sometimes in the past been excerpted but rarely heard in full. But this tuneful music—very competitively priced—deserves a wider currency than that.

Is it too much, by the way, to hope that some enterprising ballet company might stage Les ruses d’amour one day soon? It would make a great double bill, I venture to suggest, with Glazunov’s tuneful and inventive ballet score The Seasons.

Classic FM, March 2010

Glazunov’s ballet Les Ruses d’Amour may not be particularly well-known but it’s full of cracking tunes—as this new disc proves.

Robert Benson, March 2010

It's an excellent performance that holds up well sonically, and now we have it at budget price.

David Denton
David's Review Corner, January 2010

Turn to this ballet from 1898 and you are in the world of Tchaikovsky with a little ‘borrowing’ here and there. The story is of the betrothed Isabella who wishes to know whether her intended husband truly loves her and disguises herself as a servant. When he wants to elope with this girl, she is sure that he loves her not for her wealth and all ends happily. The music has more charm than drama and is scored to extract its lyric grace. Take the Dance des marionettes (track 5) as an ideal sampling point, or enjoy the excitement of the concluding La Fricassee (track 15). The performance comes from the Romanian State Philharmonic, a name that is not familiar on the world platform, but which turns in playing a cut above most of today’s Russian orchestras. Conductor, Horia Andreescu, is always mindful of tempos appropriate to dancing in a well paced performance. The recording quality is very good.

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