Les Ballets Russes Vol 5 - Prokofiev, Falla / Karabits, Bollon

Release Date: 10/13/2009
Label: SWR Music
Catalog Number: 93253
Performer: Ofelia Sala
Number of Discs: 1

Physical Format:

In Stock
Notes and Editorial Reviews

FALLA The Three-Cornered Hat. 1 PROKOFIEV Chout: Suite 2 Fabrice Bollon, cond; Ofelia Sala (sop); 1 Kirill Karabits, cond; 2 Southwest German RSO HÄNSSLER 93.253 (76:24)

The premiere of Falla’s ballet The Three-Cornered Hat took place in London’s Alhambra Theatre on July 22, 1919. It was one of a series of celebrated productions by Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, this one made special by Pablo Picasso’s costumes and scenery and by the conducting of Ernest Ansermet. Four years later, Ansermet conducted the premiere of Prokofiev’s Chout , the other Diaghilev-derived piece newly recorded in this series on Hänssler dedicated to the music of the Ballets Russes. Not merely because of his history, but because of the beautiful sounding, exquisitely paced recording, Ansermet’s oft-reissued recording of The Three-Cornered Hat, which featured Teresa Berganza in the short vocal role, has been my favorite. (I have this 1962 recording on a gold CD on Polygram and as part of the two-disc collection of Falla’s music that is part of the Musica Espanola series on Decca.) That said, and with a nod to Rozhdestvensky’s recording of Chout , I can heartily recommend this new recording as well. The Three-Cornered Hat is thrilling from the opening timpani rolls. The soundstage is deep and realistic; the rhythms, powerful and seductive without falling into sentimentalism. The chattering of the winds in the opening minutes made me laugh aloud, and the rest of the recording is as effective. Prokofiev’s Chout is not as celebrated, and here it has a different conductor, but I can imagine listeners who will want this disc especially for the Prokofiev, which has rarely been treated so lushly or so effectively. Again, the recorded sound is spectacular, the orchestra colorful, and the conducting strong and enlightening.

FANFARE: Michael Ullman
Works on This Recording
1. Chout: Suite, Op. 21a by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor: Kirill Karabits
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1920 ; USA
2. El sombrero de tres picos by Manuel de Falla
Performer: Ofelia Sala (Soprano)
Conductor: Fabrice Bollon
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1919 ; Spain
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