Tchaikovsky’s ballet in a new production for the reopening of the historic Bolshoi Ballet stage. It also celebrates superstar David Hallberg's Bolshoi debut, the first American principal soloist ever to be hired by the Bolshoi Ballet. The choreographer, Yuri Grigorovich presents a new version of his most famous choreography for a breath taking experience in splendid sets designed by Ezio Frigerio and more than 400 new costumes designed by Franca Squarciapino.
Marius Petipa's 'The Sleeping Beauty' is one of the best loved of classical ballets, combining in a single work all the enchantment and virtuosity that ballet has to offer. The royal court, the panoramic journey of the Prince to the overgrown castle, and the great celebratory dances of the happy ending (in which other famous fairytale figures appear) are all brought to life by the luscious designs of this celebrated production, created in 1946 for The Royal Ballet. The inspired performances of its revival for the 75th anniversary of the Company in 2006, together with a magnificent High Definition recording, make this a superb tribute to The Royal Ballet's unique style and visual splendour.
Matthew Bourne’s SLEEPING BEAUTY sees the choreographer return to the music of Tchaikovsky to complete the trio of the composer’s ballet masterworks that started in 1992 with Nutcracker! and, most famously, in 1995, with the international hit Swan Lake. Bourne takes this date as his starting point, setting the Christening of Aurora, the story’s heroine, in the year of the ballets first performance; the height of the Fin de siècle period when fairies, vampires and decadent opulence fed the gothic imagination. As Aurora grows into a young woman, we move forwards in time to the more rigid, uptight Edwardian era; a mythical golden age of long Summer afternoons, croquet on the lawn and new dance crazes. Years later, awakening from her century long slumber, Aurora finds herself in the modern day; a world more mysterious and wonderful than any Fairy story!
Tchaikovsky - almost alone - saw the possibilities of specially-composed music for the classical ballet, which was hugely popular in nineteenth-century Russia. His secret was to work closely with his choreographer and link music and dance routines at the outset: this proved vital to the stage action and the final success of the whole production. Swan Lake was the first, and Nutcracker the last of Tchaikovsky’s three ballet scores. Following the success of Sleeping Beauty came the request for another ballet, which eventually formed a double-bill with his opera Yolanta. Tchaikovsky agreed, unusually, that some of the Nutcracker music could be played at an orchestral concert before the ballet opened in St Petersburg. At the concert, an enthusiastic audience encored almost every number.
Tchaikovsky's three classic ballets combine his remarkable gift for melody with sparkling orchestration and a real sense of theatrical magic. Herbert von Karajan and the Wiener Philharmoniker provide performances of "utmost polish and sophistication" in a recording that "can be recommended without reservations". - Gramophone