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John J. Puccio
Classical Candor, July 2012

The story of Giselle ou Les Wilis has all the ingredients for great listening: a supernatural, melodramatic plot…and an appropriately rousing yet sentimental finale. It’s hard for any conductor not to be able to bring out the beauty and excitement of the score, and Andrew Morgrelia does it as well as almost anyone in this set of highlights from his complete Naxos recording.

People have made many cuts, additions, and changes to the ballet’s working score over the years, so having only the highlights isn’t as drastic a situation as you may imagine. In fact, the shorter score is probably best of all for home listening. At about an hour, it has not only the advantage of conciseness but of continuity, presenting the work’s best and most well-known music in a seamless medley. Besides, the highlights fit nicely on a single disc.

[Mogrelia’s] interpretation of the score is graceful and elegant in a smoothly Romantic manner.

Mogrelia and his Slovak players produce a performance that sounds very balletic…Mogrelia appears to be leading an actual ballet production rather than making a stereo recording…there is a great deal of beauty and lyrical refinement involved. The Slovak Radio Symphony play with a charming ease…

Naxos took the highlights for this 2012 disc from Mogrelia’s complete set…The sound is big, warm, round…with a soft glow occasioned by the resonance of the hall. © 2012 Classical Candor Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2012

Coming from Naxos’s early years, Andrew Mogrelia’s recording of Adolphe Adam’s ballet, Giselle, has been one of the two highly recommended performances on disc.  Regarded as the first of the great classical ballets, its sentimental story is set in a land where the ghosts of unmarried girls come to seek their revenge on all men. There Giselle falls in love with Albrecht with whom she eventually dances through to dawn, when the power of the ghosts come to an end, and he is saved. If that story-line is weak in today’s world, the beauty of the music remains highly pleasurable. In duration this disc of highlights contains half of the total score, the choice of music linking the story together. In ballet terms Mogrelia’s tempos are those you would hear in the theatre, the slow sections lovingly shaped but never dragging, and conversely the faster ones avoid any added excitement. Throughout the Slovak orchestra’s playing is a delight, and if highlights are sufficient for you, then I commend the disc to you. The sound is very good for 1994, and the booklet notes are exemplary. The complete ballet recording from which this is taken is still listed in the Naxos catalogue as being available on 8.550755–56. © 2012 David’s Review Corner

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