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Rob Maynard
MusicWeb International, December 2019

ADAM, A.: Corsaire (Le) [Ballet] (Vienna State Ballet, 2016) (NTSC) 2.110594
ADAM, A.: Corsaire (Le) [Ballet] (Vienna State Ballet, 2016) (Blu-ray, HD) NBD0090V

While it may not be as well-known as Adolphe Adam’s ballet masterpiece Giselle, his Le corsaire is a hugely enjoyable romp. A particularly winning performance from Robert Gabdullin as the titular buccaneer is the icing on the cake. © 2019 MusicWeb International

Rob Maynard
MusicWeb International, April 2019

ADAM, A.: Corsaire (Le) [Ballet] (Vienna State Ballet, 2016) (NTSC) 2.110594
ADAM, A.: Corsaire (Le) [Ballet] (Vienna State Ballet, 2016) (Blu-ray, HD) NBD0090V

In this new Wiener Staatsballett production Manuel Legris has wisely decided to simplify the narrative line a great deal, constructing thereby a much clearer and more linear story.

Moving on to the performance itself, the lively delivery of the overture is indicative of both the piratical high-jinks to come and the skilled and idiomatic contribution of the orchestra under the direction of Valery Ovsianikov.

I have to say that Robert Gabdullin makes the most convincing piratical hero I’ve seen in this role. His is a very Errol Flynn approach, with enough charismatic charm and seductively winning smiles to sweep a complete pasha’s harem off its collective feet. Mr Gabdullin dances the role with appropriately oversized, grand gestures and immense energy. Strict purists might point to a superfluity of energy over elegance and, perhaps, a lack of exact precision in both his legs and his arm gestures, but let’s keep in mind that he’s portraying a rough pirate here and not a refined prince. I loved his performance.

Having watched this disc three times in relatively quick succession, I think it now takes its place as the best filmed version of Le corsaire that is currently available. …most notably its rationalisation of the storyline, Manuel Legris’s accomplished and visually attractive choreography and the Vienna company’s strength in depth… A good quality Blu-ray presentation, with finely delivered picture and sound, sets the seal on a very worthwhile and enjoyable release. © 2019 MusicWeb International Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2019

Premiered at the Paris Opera in 1856, Adolphe Adam’s, La Corsaire, enjoyed much success, yet, like other ballets of that era, it fell out of fashion in the 20th century. It was originally to attract many famous choreographers, including the greatest of all, Marius Petipa, and in order to make a story throughout three acts, music from others was integrated. It was to involve buccaneers and the sale of captured female slaves in a highly active scenario where the head of the buccaneers, Conrad, falls in love with a noblewoman, Medora, who has been captured, and is now being sold with other slave girls. It is to lead to fights, revenge and eventually, after being shipwrecked, Conrad and Medora are washed up on a shore that is free from all the troubles that have beset them. We move on over a hundred years and the famous duo of Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev made the second act Pas de deux a technical spectacular, though in reality the music was mostly by Riccardo Drigo. And so it is that two of Russia’s most outstanding young dancers take those roles in the work’s belated Vienna premiere. It was in a new production commissioned from the French-born choreographer, Manual Legris, the result being a pastiche of music by Adam, Drigo, Delibes, Cesare Pugni and others, the ballet lasting just over two hours. Visually it is both colourful and striking, and though you could point to passing flaws in the dancing, this is an impressive and hugely enjoyable ‘live’ film, the two leading roles taken by Maria Yakoleva and Robert Gabdullin, both technically brilliant. So too is the orchestral playing for the Russian conductor, Valery Ovsianikov, his tempos for some of the fast moving action having been judged to the split-second. Excellent filming from 2016, and the release also comes on standard DVD (2.110594). © 2019 David’s Review Corner

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