Tchaikovsky (complete) ballets

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bombasticDarren
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Tchaikovsky (complete) ballets

Post by bombasticDarren » Mon Dec 13, 2010 1:02 pm

Hi all

I am hoping to purchase supplementary comparison recordings of the complete Tchaikovsky ballets. I was hoping CMGers could use their collective wisdom to point me in the right direction :idea: :)

The recordings I currently have are:-

'The Nutcracker' (Valery Gergiev, Kirov Orchestra, Philips)

'Swan Lake' (Seiji Ozawa, Boston Symphony Orchestra, DG)

'Sleeping Beauty' (Mikhail Pletnev, Russian National Orchestra, DG)

what recordings am I missing that I must have?

:)

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Re: Tchaikovsky (complete) ballets

Post by stenka razin » Mon Dec 13, 2010 1:31 pm

You have some very good recordings, my friend. But, may I suggest a set of classic Decca performances from the 1950's and 60's by the great Swiss maestro, Ernest Ansermet. Though there are some cuts, but what you will hear are splendid interpretations from a master ballet conductor. Highly recommended, with many Tchaikovsky bonuses in a new 6 CD super budget set reissue. The inclusion of the 6th Symphony, Rococo Variations, and Orchestral Suites 3 & 4 makes this Brilliant Classics set one of the very best bargains available of Tchaikovsky's music.:

Regards,
Mel 8)

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Seán
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Re: Tchaikovsky (complete) ballets

Post by Seán » Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:10 pm

Like Mel I have to say that I too love the Ansermet recordings, you will not be disappointed by them. I bought them a few weeks ago and they are marvelous. Don't hesitate Darren, get them now.


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Re: Tchaikovsky (complete) ballets

Post by brightwater » Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:29 pm

Three new versions of The Nutcracker with Simon Rattle
and the berlin Philharmonic are available. Each has
something differnt - hope the music is the same.

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Re: Tchaikovsky (complete) ballets

Post by Seán » Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:31 pm

brightwater wrote:Three new versions of The Nutcracker with Simon Rattle
and the berlin Philharmonic are available. Each has
something differnt - hope the music is the same.
Hmmm
Seán

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Re: Tchaikovsky (complete) ballets

Post by bombasticDarren » Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:43 pm

Seán wrote:Like Mel I have to say that I too love the Ansermet recordings, you will not be disappointed by them. I bought them a few weeks ago and they are marvelous. Don't hesitate Darren, get them now.
It does look like a nice set. I am a fan of the other Ansermet/OSR recordings I have. Definitely under close consideration :D

I did ponder trying the Rattle Nutcracker purely because I was interested to see how he handled Tchaikovsky. Will wait for the price to come down on that one I fear :lol:

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Re: Tchaikovsky (complete) ballets

Post by Chalkperson » Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:25 pm

brightwater wrote:Three new versions of The Nutcracker with Simon Rattle
and the berlin Philharmonic are available. Each has
something differnt - hope the music is the same.
The music is probably still the same, dull in Rattle's hands...
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Re: Tchaikovsky (complete) ballets

Post by Chalkperson » Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:27 pm

Try Andre Previn on EMI, or Mark Ermler on the Royal Opera House's own label, neither will disappoint you...I prefer Ermler ever so slightly...
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Re: Tchaikovsky (complete) ballets

Post by stenka razin » Mon Dec 13, 2010 7:31 pm

Chalkperson wrote:Try Andre Previn on EMI, or Mark Ermler on the Royal Opera House's own label, neither will disappoint you...I prefer Ermler ever so slightly...

I agree with Chalkie. Previn and Ermler are wonderful in the big Tchaikovsky ballet trio. 8)
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Re: Tchaikovsky (complete) ballets

Post by John F » Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:51 pm

Antal Dorati is best known today as a symphonic conductor, but in the first decade of his international career he led ballet performances in Europe and America, and his recordings of the three great Tchaikovsky ballets show a special understanding of the music as dance theatre.
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Re: Tchaikovsky (complete) ballets

Post by Prometheus » Wed Dec 15, 2010 12:14 am

Darren,

The only performances I have of the 3 ballets are from this box set with Richard Bonynge. I find the set to be of good quality.

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Re: Tchaikovsky (complete) ballets

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:23 am

Prometheus wrote:Darren,

The only performances I have of the 3 ballets are from this box set with Richard Bonynge. I find the set to be of good quality.

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I could never buy his recordings, unfortunately, my mind could never get away from wanting to call him Boing Boing...

As for Dorati, I only have the Nutcracker on Mercury, but it is one of the finest recordings of that work, Svetlanov is very good too in that Ballet...
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Re: Tchaikovsky (complete) ballets

Post by Lance » Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:50 am

Indeed! I remember them well from the big Mercury multi-disc set. I thought he did a fantastic job with this music. I have many recordings of excerpts from all three of Tchaikovsky's ballets and would recommend these as well for those who might prefer the truncated versions - SUITES only:

[1] EMI 86486 (2 CDs) - Roger Desormière/French Radio Orchestra [Swan Lake & Nutcracker only] (mono, but stunning)
[2] Decca 430 140 - Stokowski/ [Swan Lake & Sleeping Beauty only]
[3] Decca 459 181 - Ansermet/Suisse Romande Orchestra [all three ballets]
[4] Decca 466 379 - Karajan/Vienna PO [all three ballets]
[5] DGG 477 5480 - Fricsay/RIAS-SO/Berlin [Swan Lake & Nutcracker]
[6] EMI 62861 or 67791 - Efrem Kurtz/Philharmonia Orch [all three ballets]
[7] EMI 89485 - André Prevlin/London SO [all three ballets]
[8] RCA 60794 - Ormandy/Philadelphia Orch [all three ballets]
[9] BBC 2/3 - Mark Ermler/Orchestra-Royal Opera House/Covent Garden [Swan Lake & Nutcracker]

I must throw in that the Ormandy and Stokowski recordings and their orchestras almost seem totally "built" for Tchaikovsky's great balletic masterpieces ... that Philadelphia "sound" especially seems almost incomparable with other orchestras in this music.
John F wrote:Antal Dorati is best known today as a symphonic conductor, but in the first decade of his international career he led ballet performances in Europe and America, and his recordings of the three great Tchaikovsky ballets show a special understanding of the music as dance theatre.
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Re: Tchaikovsky (complete) ballets

Post by david johnson » Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:21 am

My box of the ballets is SLSO/Slatkin/RCA. Good price and I like the way St. Louis plays.

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Re: Tchaikovsky (complete) ballets

Post by bombasticDarren » Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:26 am

Thanks everyone :D

I think I am settled on Ansermet or Ermler, if the price is right I could collect both :lol:

Previn and Dorati are ones for the future, as is perhaps Bonynge :) :idea:

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Re: Tchaikovsky (complete) ballets

Post by bombasticDarren » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:37 am

I have purchased the Previn set below. Mostly because of the price, and some good recommendations. I have quite a few Previn/LSO recordings and there is a wondeful glow to them which I feel, and hope, will suit the ballet scores. Fingers crossed :D

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I fear the Ansermet set won't escape me for long though :wink: :oops:

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Re: Tchaikovsky (complete) ballets

Post by RebLem » Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:39 pm

I have and love the Previns. The Doratis are on my wants list.
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Re: Tchaikovsky (complete) ballets

Post by Lance » Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:27 pm

Just as something else to think of about on this thread, I would be curious what your favourite Tchaikovsky ballet is, or the order in which you might place them insofar as musical interest goes. For me:

[1] Swan Lake
[2] Sleeping Beauty
[3] The Nutcracker *

* Frankly, I don't think I want to ever hear the Nutcracker again, sorry to say. Not too many classical pieces I would say that about!
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Re: Tchaikovsky (complete) ballets

Post by stenka razin » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:28 pm

Lance wrote:Just as something else to think of about on this thread, I would be curious what your favourite Tchaikovsky ballet is, or the order in which you might place them insofar as musical interest goes. For me:

[1] Swan Lake
[2] Sleeping Beauty
[3] The Nutcracker *

* Frankly, I don't think I want to ever hear the Nutcracker again, sorry to say. Not too many classical pieces I would say that about!

1-Sleeping Beauty-Orchestrally this is the richest score.
2-Swan Lake-The most beautiful of the three ballets musically.
3-Nutcracker-The underrated 1st act is simply gorgeous and always seems to be ignored because sections of the 2nd act are probably the most performed classical pieces in concert and in recordings.

One final note. I love all three ballets so much that placing them in any order was almost painful....... :wink: 8)
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Re: Tchaikovsky (complete) ballets

Post by Prometheus » Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:11 am

1-Swan Lake
2-The Nutcracker
3-The Sleeping Beauty

Very much agree with the reasoning offered by stenka razin.

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Re: Tchaikovsky (complete) ballets

Post by Chalkperson » Thu Dec 16, 2010 9:58 am

1/ Nutcracker
1/ Schlepping Beauty
1/ Swan Lake

1/ 1812 Overture
1/ The Symphonies

You get the idea...I love sugar, but, don't put it in my coffee, I listen to it instead... :wink:
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Re: Tchaikovsky (complete) ballets

Post by maestrob » Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:03 pm

Swan Lake
Nutcracker
Sleeping Beauty

Don't listen a lot to Tchaikovsky, but am very enamored of his 2nd Piano Concerto and the first three symphonies. Like we all did, I grew up with IV, V, & VI so I don't put them on the platter that often......

His operas work well for me, especially Onegin & Pique Dame.

Love Dorati in the ballets, so my vote goes to him.

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Re: Tchaikovsky (complete) ballets

Post by dirkronk » Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:50 pm

Another vote for Dorati. Also this elaboration: good as his Mercury recordings are (and yes, I've had all the ballets for years, vinyl and more recently CD), for the Nutcracker alone I find myself listening most often to Dorati and the Concertgebouw on Philips: the richness of the hall sound and the utter beauty of the orchestral playing are hard to resist. The Mercury sound (with the LSO) is closer, more in-your-face. All are classics.

I love Ansermet and there's no doubt that he loved Tchaikovsky's scores. However, if I'm going to hear him do anything from the Nutcracker, I more frequently return not to his Suisse Romande recordings, but to the suite he recorded with the Royal Opera House Orchestra of Covent Garden. Bon-bons, to be sure, but wrapped in one of the most amazing sonic packages! (Not sure of its CD availability...it was once part of an RCA Soria deluxe LP package and later a Victrola LP reissue.)

Two other must-haves in the Nutcracker, even though they offer suites rather than the whole package: Reiner (!) and Mravinsky. Seriously.

Dirk

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Re: Tchaikovsky (complete) ballets

Post by Heck148 » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:57 pm

maestrob wrote:Don't listen a lot to Tchaikovsky, but am very enamored of his....first three symphonies. Like we all did, I grew up with IV, V, & VI so I don't put them on the platter that often......
yup - Symphonies 1-3 are really quite delightful - both to play and hear. 4-6 are way over-played. if I never have to play them again, that would be fine...#6 is OK, i guess, but still over-exposed.
Love Dorati in the ballets, so my vote goes to him.
Tchaik is at his best in the ballets - he seems to so naturally grasp the dance element - the drama, the movement - Nutcracker is great - even tho I've played it a miilion times. always a challenge, always rewarding...Swan lake, Sleeping Beauty are great also. I love Solti's Suite from Swan Lake - really great - the Waltz is overpowering, just rapturous, ecstatic, full blast Solti/CSO fireworks...

I have Dorati's complete Nutcracker, and it's OK - but there are some big moments that don't really come off so well - end of Act I - Pas de deux, Snowflakes, Grand pas de deux/ActII.
I've heard them done alot better - American Ballet Theatre video - Kirkland/Baryshnikov/Schermerhorn ; Reiner/CSO. etc....

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Re: Tchaikovsky (complete) ballets

Post by Chalkperson » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:07 am

Lance wrote:Just as something else to think of about on this thread, I would be curious what your favourite Tchaikovsky ballet is, or the order in which you might place them insofar as musical interest goes. For me:

[1] Swan Lake
[2] Sleeping Beauty
[3] The Nutcracker *

* Frankly, I don't think I want to ever hear the Nutcracker again, sorry to say. Not too many classical pieces I would say that about!
Can I just say, that, on my (Color Corrected) monitor, this is the ugliest color of type I have ever seen on CMG, and I love Deep Purple... :lol:
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Re: Tchaikovsky (complete) ballets

Post by Chalkperson » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:12 am

dirkronk wrote:Two other must-haves in the Nutcracker, even though they offer suites rather than the whole package: Reiner (!) and Mravinsky. Seriously.

Dirk
If it's Suites, then Tilson Thomas on RCA and Rostropovich on DG are also worth hearing...
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