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Rossini: La Boutique Fantasque

Release Date: 08/05/1996 
Label:  Eloquence   Catalog #: 4489842   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ottorino RespighiFrédéric ChopinJules Massenet
Conductor:  Richard Bonynge
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra

Recorded in: Stereo 
Length:  1 Hours 15 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Les Sylphides and La Boutique fantasque originated from commissions by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes after World War I. Based on an assortment of Chopin piano works, Les Sylphides originally was arranged and orchestrated by Glazunov, with the Nocturne and the final Valse brilliante done by Stravinsky in his first assignment for Diaghilev. This performance utilizes a version orchestrated by Roy Douglas that retains all the original numbers but alters the sound of the piece to a noticeable degree (and not always to its advantage). While there are some passages (such as the two Mazurkas) that sound decidedly Chopinesque, Glazunov's arrangement sounds more cohesive than Douglas's--and more balletic. (Plus it's interesting to hear the young Read more Stravinsky's contribution.) These differences have little effect on Richard Bonynge's performance with the National Philharmonic, which is as light and graceful as you could wish.
For La Boutique fantasque Respighi orchestrated a number of Rossini miniatures, many coming from his Sins of My old Age collection. The result is a cheerful and brightly colored work that presents Rossini in spicy "modern" dress. Although the brilliant performance by Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra on Sony sets the standard in virtuosity and sumptuous orchestral sound, Bonynge's smoothly-played reading makes a good presentation of the piece. Nigel Kennedy also makes a good presentation in his deeply felt rendering of Massenet's Thaïs Méditation, bringing the disc to a soothing close. Decca's vintage 1970s analog sound turns up warm and full in this Eloquence transfer, making for a very delightful 75 minutes.

--Victor Carr Jr.
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Works on This Recording

Les Sylphides by Frédéric Chopin
Conductor:  Richard Bonynge
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 1982 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, Londo 
Thaïs: Meditation by Jules Massenet
Conductor:  Richard Bonynge
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; France 
Date of Recording: 1983 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, Londo 
La boutique fantasque by Ottorino Respighi
Conductor:  Richard Bonynge
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919; Rome, Italy 

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