Tchaikovsky : The Sleeping Beauty

Ernest Ansermet conducting the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande

Decca SXL 2160-2

Speakers Corner Records : 3 LPs 180 gram, box with booklet

Brand New and Sealed Record

  • Contents & Details

    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) : The Sleeping Beauty (complete ballet)

    Recorded in October - November 1958 at Victoria Hall in Geneva by Roy Wallace.

    The Sleeping Beauty is a ballet in a prologue and three acts Tchaikovsky composed in 1889, based on Charles Perrault's La Belle au bois dormant. It is the second of three ballets Tchaikovsy composed, after Swan Lake (1876) and before The Nutcracker (1891).

    "His symphonies are ballets, his ballets are symphonies", such has often been said about Tchaikovsky’s lengthy dance compositions. This opinion is not entirely due to the fact that these works had to please the audience without being danced to after Diaghilev’s legendary ballet company was dissolved. Rather more, Tchaikovsky’s instrumental and incidental music is pervaded by movement and dance rhythms that act as a musical scaffolding.

    Almost as legendary as the incomparable heritage of Russian music is the reputation of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, whose recordings are famed for their lush and saturated sound colouring. Ansermet transforms the score into a veritable firework of sound, without ever straining after cheap effects by means of a thunderous sound; the strings are clean and warm in all registers, the brass volleys blare out keenly, and the percussion is dauntlessly resolute. This performance and Decca’s customary excellent sound recording render great homage to this music. All the more reason to be glad that this particular Sleeping Beauty has been awakened at long last.

    "The sound represents the best of the ffss era. Strings are beautifully textured, always a plus in Tchaikovsky when violins and cellos soar in unison a couple of octaves apart... Ansermet had a gift for bringing this sort of music to life... the conductor here takes full responsibility for presenting a cogent narrative. Tempo choices are perfect." - Andrew Quint, The Absolute Sound, October 2012.

    The "golden age" of recordings was from 1955 to 1965, at the beginning of the LP and the stereo era, where pure vacuum tube amplification helped produce recordings demonstrating unparalleled fidelity and warmth, lifelike presence and illumination.

    This Speakers Corner LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the original analogue studio tapes through to the cutting head, and was pressed with virgin vinyl at Pallas. More information under http://www.pure-analogue.com

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