Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount



CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

The Great Pas de Deux
Riccardo DRIGO
Le Corsaire - Pas de deux (1887) [6:39]
Ludwig MINKUS (1826-1917)
Don Quixote - Act 3 Pas de deux (1869) [7:03]
La Bayadère - Pas de deux (1877) [8:18]
Don Quixote - Act 1 Pas de deux (1869) [3:05]
Adolphe ADAM (1803-1856)
Giselle - Peasants’ pas de deux and Giselle and Albrecht’s pas de deux (1841) [15:21]
Ferdinand HÉROLD (1791-1833)
La fille mal gardée - “Fanny Elssler” pas de deux (1828) [11:34]
André MESSAGER (1853-1929)
The two pigeons - Dance of the two pigeons(1886)[3:43]
Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Les Sylphides - Pas de deux (1909) [4:33]
Holger PAULLI (1810-1891)
The kermesse in Bruges - Pas de deux (1851) [7:23]
Eduard HELSTED (1816-1900)/Holger PAULLI
Flower festival at Genzano - extracts (1858) [9:01]
Pyotr Il'yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Swan Lake - “White swan” pas de deux and “Black swan” pas de deux (1876) [19:01]
Sleeping Beauty - Act 2 pas d’action and Act 3 pas de deux (1890) [19:05]
The Nutcracker - Pas de deux (1892) [8:29
Onegin (ballet, arr. Stolze) - Pas de deux (1965) [8:29]
Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Romeo and Juliet - Act 1 balcony scene (1938) [8:34]
Cinderella - Pas de deux (1945) [4:46]
Johann STRAUSS II (1825-1899)
Graduation ball (ballet, arr. Dorati) - Romantic pas de deux (1940) [3:41]
Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)
The lady and the fool (ballet, arr. Mackerras) - Pas de deux (1954) [4:50]
see end of review for performance details
EMI CLASSICS 6486352 [77:21 + 78:14]

Experience Classicsonline

“The pas de deux is an essential element of classical ballet: the moment when the principal couple’s relationship finds expression in an extended dance. This collection explores the rich diversity of pas de deux: in the great central works such as Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet or Giselle; in showpieces such as Le Corsaire, La Bayadère or Les Sylphides; in hidden treasures by relatively little-known composers, or in sparkling adaptations of Johann Strauss and Verdi.” [Brief note on the reverse of the CD.] 

Well, that just about sums up this generously filled double disc set, choc-full, as you’d expect, with glorious melodies ranging from the swooningly romantic to the irresistibly foot-tapping.
As we see more and more ballet DVDs coming onto the market, dance aficionados will often prefer, quite understandably, to watch their favourite performances as well as listening to the scores. But compilations like this one are still undeniably useful, whether as offering pleasant and undemanding music for the house, the car or the beach, or for listeners who enjoy the tunes without necessarily having an appreciation of ballet technique itself.
The performances are of a uniformly very high standard and, thanks to some judicious digital re-mastering, show few, if any, signs of their age. The musicians of the London Festival Ballet Orchestra were well versed in this repertoire and, under Terence Kern’s highly idiomatic direction, turn in hugely enjoyable accounts of Le Corsaire and Giselle. But while none of the other featured orchestras were specialist ballet ensembles, all are equally up to the mark. It naturally helps that several of the conductors - Irving, Lanchbery and Wordsworth - were figures closely associated with the world of ballet. Having been rather dismissive of the Elizabethan Trust Melbourne Orchestra in other releases in this EMI ballet mini-series, I am pleased to note that their (brief) contribution here is one that avoids any crude coarsening of Minkus’s colourful score.
In spite of the post-war revival of interest in the ballets of the great 19th century Danish ballet master August Bournonville and in Ludwig Minkus, Ballet Composer of the St Petersburg Imperial Theatres from 1871 until 1886, and his circle, the works on the first disc may well be unfamiliar to many listeners. On the other hand, Tchaikovsky’s ubiquitous scores, probably the sum total of ballet music known to the man in the street, are the major feature of the second CD. André Previn’s 1970 recordings are preferred for Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker but his Swan Lake, which featured, if I recall aright, no less than Ida Haendel as the solo violinist, has been displaced by the Philharmonia Orchestra’s version directed by John Lanchbery (who also conducts Kurt-Heinz Stolze’s confection Onegin - a ballet). Previn returns, however, with distinctive accounts of two Prokofiev masterpieces that may encourage anyone who loves his Romeo and Juliet to go on to explore the attractive score to Cinderella.
With two atmospheric and idiomatic performances from the late Sir Charles Mackerras rounding off the disc with aplomb, this set offers more than 2½ hours of music that passes by in, you’d swear, less than half the time and provides a great deal of pleasure.
One brief word of caution, however ... If you’ve been collecting the other releases in this continuing EMI ballet series, you’ll already know that there is considerable duplication between discs. Do, therefore, check the contents with appropriate care before you buy.
Rob Maynard  

Performance details
London Festival Ballet Orchestra/Terence Kern (Le Corsaire and Giselle)
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Robert Irving (Don Quixote Act 3)
Sydney Symphony Orchestra/John Lanchbery (La Bayadère and Onegin)
Elizabethan Trust Melbourne Orchestra/John Lanchbery (Don Quixote Act 1)
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Barry Wordsworth (La fille mal gardée )
Bournemouth Symphoiny Orchestra/John Lanchbery (The two pigeons)
Philharmonia Orchestra/Robert Irving (Les Sylphides)
Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra/Ole Schmidt (The kermesse in Bruges and Flower festival at Genzano)
Philharmonia Orchestra/John Lanchbery (Swan Lake)
London Symphony Orchestra/André Previn (Sleeping Beauty,The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella)
Philharmonia Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras (Graduation ball)
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras (The lady and the fool)
rec. details not given








































































Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.