Bonynge: Overtures & Ballet Music of the 19th Century (2 CD, APE)
Bonynge: Overtures & Ballet Music of the 19th Century (2 CD, APE)

Orchestra: New Philharmonia Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Richard Bonynge
Audio CD
SPARS Code: ADD
Number of Discs: 2
Format: APE (image+cue)
Label: Decca
Size: 694 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

CD 01
01. Marco Spada
02. Giralda
03. Fille De Madame Angot
04. Mignon
05. Les Cloches De Corneville
06. Lestocq
07. Poupee De Nuremberg
08. Le Calife De Bagdad
09. Le Prophete
10. Navarraise
11. Reine De Saba
12. Dame Blanche
13. Don Procopio

CD 02
01. Roberto Devereux
02. Torvaldo Dorliska
03. Les Dragons De Villars
04. Fille Du Tambour-Major
05. Giovanna D’arco
06. Zampa
07. Maritana
08. Neige
09. Cherubin-Entr’acte (Act III)
10. Don Cesar De Bazan-Entr’ Act Sevillana
11. Le Tribut De Zamora-Danse Grecque (Act III)
12. Henri Viii-Danse De La Gypsy (Act)
13. Les Erinnyes-Invocation
14. Le Roi L’a Dit-Entr’ Acte (Act II)

Romantic French musical miscellania

I became acquainted with nearly all of these selections from the original LPs issued in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. The conductor, Richard Bonynge, was and is an expert authority on what are now obscure French (and sometimes Italian) operas and the ballet sequences and various entr’actes extracted from them for this generously-filled 2 CD collection. With one or two exceptions, the sound quality is vintage Decca analog (one exception being the beginning of the short Sevillana by Jules Massenet from his opera “Don Cesar de Basan”, which shows some tape wobble) and the selections, often from completely forgotten works, are tuneful and superbly played (and usually quite brief — the longest overture is about ten minutes and the shortest dance less than two). There are overtures by Adolphe Adam, Ambroise Thomas, Luis Herold, Rossini and others. If memory serves me, this collection gathers together in one set nearly all of the various fragments that Bonynge recorded and often used as fillers for other, larger (and often better-known) works. One missing item is the delightful saxophone waltz from Leo Delibes’ opera “Le Roi de Lahore”, but perhaps that will show up on some future release. Highly recommended, but don’t expect any major discoveries of forgotten masterpieces.

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