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Delibes: Sylvia & Coppelia Suites, Selections from Lakme & Le Roi s'Amuse / Davis, RPO

Delibes / Rpo / Davis
Release Date: 04/12/2011 
Label:  Royal Philharmonic Masterworks   Catalog #: 28730   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Léo Delibes
Performer:  Lillian WatsonChristine Cairns
Conductor:  Carl Davis
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

DELIBES Coppélia: Suite. Sylvia: Suite. Le Roi s’amuse: excerpts. Lakmé: Flower Duet 1,2; Bell Song 1 Carl Davis, cond; Royal PO; 1 Lillian Watson (sop); 2 Christine Cairns Read more (mez) ROYAL PHILHARMONIC MASTERWORKS RPM 28730 (64:16)

If this collection had been issued on LP in, say, 1975, it probably would have been titled Delibes’s Greatest Hits , for it contains the usual highlights from his ballets Coppélia and Sylvia and the two most famous numbers from the opera Lakmé . As a bonus, we get two-thirds of the music Delibes composed for a performance of Victor Hugo’s play Le Roi s’amuse , which also served as the source for Piave’s libretto for Verdi’s Rigoletto . There’s a blurb on the back of the jewel box that gushes, “Prepare yourself to experience music-making of the highest level, beautifully recorded with superb engineering and performed with a rarely heard abandon that will excite and thrill you over and over again. 20 bit digital recording, edited and mastered via 32 bit digital sound processing. Recorded in high definition and playable on all CD players.” Really asking for it, aren’t they? To my amazement, I am delighted by the performances, and the company wasn’t kidding about the sound, either. Carl Davis, a native of New York but a resident of London, seems to have a flair for dance music, for he paces the ballet pieces judiciously without ever sounding as if he is merely dispatching an assignment or trying to blow us away. I’d be interested in hearing what he would do with the rest of Coppélia and Sylvia , especially with such vivid sound and excellent playing. Lillian Watson and Christine Cairns offer a sweet, melting “Flower Duet” and Watson sails through the “Bell Song” with flying colors throwing in some extra vocal acrobatics along the way. There was room for all six pieces that make up Delibes’s incidental music for Le Roi s’amuse but Davis skips the “Scène du bouquet” and “Lesquercarde.” Written “in olden style,” the pieces are paced for dancing but he does rush the Gaillarde a bit. Beecham’s recording includes a brief finale that is a rehash of the Gaillarde. Davis’s conducting yields little to Beecham’s here, and throughout the CD, the orchestra is a vivid presence. I recommend the complete ballets and the opera but, if you’re willing to settle for the “hits,” I doubt that you can do any better.

FANFARE: James Miller
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sylvia: Suite by Léo Delibes
Performer:  Lillian Watson (), Christine Cairns ()
Conductor:  Carl Davis
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; France 
Length: 16 Minutes 24 Secs. 
2.
Lakmé: Viens, Mallikà...Sous le dôme épais "Flower Duet" by Léo Delibes
Performer:  Lillian Watson (), Christine Cairns ()
Conductor:  Carl Davis
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883; France 
Length: 6 Minutes 6 Secs. 
3.
Lakmé: Où va la jeune indoue? "Bell Song" by Léo Delibes
Performer:  Lillian Watson (), Christine Cairns ()
Conductor:  Carl Davis
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883; France 
Length: 7 Minutes 46 Secs. 
4.
Le roi s'amuse: Gaillarde by Léo Delibes
Performer:  Lillian Watson (), Christine Cairns ()
Conductor:  Carl Davis
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1882; France 
Length: 3 Minutes 3 Secs. 
5.
Le roi s'amuse: Pavane by Léo Delibes
Performer:  Lillian Watson (), Christine Cairns ()
Conductor:  Carl Davis
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1882; France 
Length: 1 Minutes 45 Secs. 
6.
Le roi s'amuse: Madrigal by Léo Delibes
Performer:  Christine Cairns (), Lillian Watson ()
Conductor:  Carl Davis
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1882; France 
Length: 1 Minutes 59 Secs. 
7.
Le roi s'amuse: Passepied by Léo Delibes
Performer:  Christine Cairns (), Lillian Watson ()
Conductor:  Carl Davis
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1882; France 
Length: 1 Minutes 46 Secs. 
8.
Coppélia: Introduction and Mazurka by Léo Delibes
Performer:  Lillian Watson (), Christine Cairns ()
Conductor:  Carl Davis
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1870; France 
Length: 6 Minutes 32 Secs. 
9.
Coppélia: Fête de la cloche "Divertissement introduction" by Léo Delibes
Performer:  Christine Cairns (), Lillian Watson ()
Conductor:  Carl Davis
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1870; France 
Length: 6 Minutes 25 Secs. 
10.
Coppélia: Notturno by Léo Delibes
Performer:  Christine Cairns (), Lillian Watson ()
Conductor:  Carl Davis
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1870; France 
Length: 2 Minutes 43 Secs. 
11.
Coppélia: Music of the Dolls and Waltz by Léo Delibes
Performer:  Christine Cairns (), Lillian Watson ()
Conductor:  Carl Davis
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1870; France 
Length: 5 Minutes 14 Secs. 
12.
Coppélia: Czárdás by Léo Delibes
Performer:  Lillian Watson (), Christine Cairns ()
Conductor:  Carl Davis
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1870; France 
Length: 3 Minutes 52 Secs. 

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