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Bayer: The Fairy Doll / Andrew Mogrelia, Slovak Radio So

Release Date: 07/20/2004 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8557098   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Joseph Bayer
Conductor:  Andrew Mogrelia
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 54 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The Fairy Doll (“Die Puppenfee”) and Sonne und Erde (“Sun and Earth”) are like boxes of candy. Nice little treats, but you wouldn’t want to make a meal of them. They are two of the several one-act ballets composed by Josef Bayer during the 30 years he was in charge of the Vienna Court Opera Orchestra’s ballet. His music, as represented by the complete Fairy Doll and Sun and Earth excerpts on this Naxos album, is tuneful and toe-tappingly cute. There is that Viennese grace to the waltzes, the orchestrations are varied and often interesting, and charm oozes out of every measure. It’s ballet music of the tippy-tippy-toe variety, pleasant enough for an occasional listen but likely to raise musical insulin levels in large doses.
Read more /> Josef Bayer was born in Vienna (1852). He studied at the Vienna Conservatory under Josef Hellmesberger, Sr., Anton Bruckner, and Otto Dessoff. For 28 years, Bayer was a violinist in the Court Opera Orchestra (1870–1898), and for 30 years (1883–1913) Bayer was in charge of the ballet. In addition to the ballets, he composed operettas, dance scenes, divertissements, and assorted light music. Several of his ballets used Vienna for inspiration. In 1885, he created a ballet, Wiener Walzer, which included many favorite melodies to depict how the Viennese waltz developed over the past century. A similar thematic device was used in 1888, when he used Austrian marches in a ballet imaginatively titled Österreichische Märsche (“Austrian Marches”). Bayer honored Johann Strauss in the ballet Rund um Wien (“Around Vienna”) and arranged Strauss’s unfinished ballet Aschenbrödel (“Cinderella”) for performance. But the biggest hit Bayer had was his 1888 ballet Im Puppenladen (“The Doll Shop”). The title was later changed to Die Puppenfee (“The Fairy Doll”), denoting the central character. It is one of those stories about toys that come to life when the people are gone.

Sonne und Erde was written a year later (1889). It consists of a prelude and four scenes, each scene depicting a season. The recording under review presents the prelude, two dances from “Winter” and eleven dances from “Spring.” The seasons are recorded in reverse order from their normal placement in the ballet. My ears detected little stylistic difference between the music for the seasons, or, for that matter, between the two ballets.

Andrew Mogrelia has conducted several ballets for Naxos and Marco Polo. He has led the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra in recordings of Coppélia and Giselle; the Razumovsky Sinfonia (Sylvia); Queensland Symphony Orchestra for Adam’s La filleule des fées, and La jolie fille de Gand. His conducting for this Bayer disc is bright and clean; he brings out the joy in this music. The recorded sound is very, very pleasant. The liner notes include a hostile assessment of Bayer’s music by composer Franz Schmidt that does little to explain why Bayer was a popular composer and his ballet Die Puppenfee continues to be performed. The music is not profound—a little goes a long way—but if you like ballet scores, Bayer will give you a smile while you tap your toes.

David L. Kirk, FANFARE
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Works on This Recording

Die Puppenfee by Joseph Bayer
Conductor:  Andrew Mogrelia
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
Sonne und Erde by Joseph Bayer
Conductor:  Andrew Mogrelia
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1889; Vienna, Austria 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 My kind of music August 15, 2013 By Pamela L. (Palm Coast, FL) See All My Reviews "I had not heard this music for a number of years then one day it was on my TV music station. I was so happoy that I could order the CD immediaetly on Arkiv. It is so easy to find anything I want this way. Being a ballet dancer and teacher, this selection is of special interest to me, as are all the other selections I have been able to order. Thank you Arkiv, P.L." Report Abuse
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