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CD Review

Jules Massenet

– Complete Ballet –

Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden/Richard Bonynge
Decca 470525-2 110m DDD
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At long last, Decca have finally reissued this excellent ballet on a double CD when it has been unavailable for so long. The delightful combination of tunes and melodies that are so predominant in Massenet's music are so wonderfully arranged by Leighton Lucas and Hilda Gaunt, that the ballet is certainly one of the gems of the repertoire. Some qualms must be mentioned on the length of the ballet which is only 110 minutes spread over two CDs but the cost is definitely right at two CDs for the price of one!

Richard Bonynge is the born interpreter for this kind of music and the scores of works recorded for Decca in the ballet repertoire are certainly evident to this. It is intriguing to note that the ballet does not include a note of music from Massenet's opera, 'Manon' but is a combination of other music from various works. Collectors of this type of music will do well to snap up this CD before it gets unaccountably deleted!

Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech