Tibor de Machula (Cello), Hugh Maguire (Violin), Phia Berghout (Harp), Kenneth Heath (Cello), Steven Staryk (Violin)
London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Contents Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op. 20, Introduction
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op. 20, TH 12 / Act 1 No. 1 Scène (Allegro giusto) No. 2 Valse (Corps de Ballet) No. 8 Danse des coupes (Tempo di polacca)
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op. 20, TH 12 / Act 2 No. 10 Scène (Moderato) No. 11 Scène (Allegro moderato) No. 13d Danse des petits cygnes (Allegro moderato) No. 13e Danse des cygnes
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op. 20, TH 12 / Act 3 No. 20 Danse hongroise (Czárdás) Pas de deux No. 24 Scène (Allegro – Valse – Allegro vivo)
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op. 20, TH 12 / Act 4 No. 27 Danses des petits cygnes (Moderato) No. 29 Scène finale (Andante)
Tchaikovsky: Serenade for strings in C major, Op. 48 1. Pezzo in forma di sonatina: Andante non troppo – Allegro moderato 2. Walzer: Moderato (Tempo di valse) 3. Elégie: Larghetto elegiaco 4. Finale (Tema russo): Andante – Allegro con spirito
Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a 1. Miniature Overture 2a. March 2b. Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy
Tchaikovsky: Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66, Introduction – Act I: Marche
Tchaikovsky: The Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66, TH 13 / Act 1 5. Scène (The Palace Garden) 6. Valse 8a. Pas d’action: Introduction (Andante) – Adagio (“Rose Adagio”) 8c. Pas d’action: Variation d’Aurore
Tchaikovsky: The Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66, TH 13 / Act 2 15a. Pas d’action (Vision of Aurora) 17. Panorama (Andantino)
Tchaikovsky: The Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66, TH 13 / Act 3 22. Polacca (Allegro moderato)
Tchaikovsky: The Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66, TH 13 / Prologue 3h. Pas de six: Variation VI (Lilac Fairy) (Waltz)
Tchaikovsky: The Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66, TH 13 / Act 3 23e. Pas de quatre: Variation IV (Diamond Fairy) 24. Pas de caractère (Puss in Boots) 25a. Pas de quatre: Adagio 28e. Pas de deux: Coda (Allegro vivace) (The Three Ivans) 29. Sarabande 30. Finale: Allegro brillante – Apothéose
The Tchaikovsky ballet score recordings conducted for Decca and Philips by the Ukrainian-born Anatole Fistoulari (1907-1995) are prized ‘among the finest ever made’ (Gramophone). As a companion issue to his first, abridged versions of Swan Lake (4825225) and Sleeping Beauty (4827223), this newly remastered set offers another trio of complete LP albums, all stereo recordings from the early 1960s: highlights from Swan Lake made in Amsterdam in 1961, and LSO recordings from 1962 of highlights from Sleeping Beauty, the familiar suite from The Nutcracker and the evergreen Serenade for Strings.
It is the sense of being present at a live performance that critics prized in Fistoulari’s ballet recordings. As an experienced conductor in the pit, who (perhaps apocryphally) led his first opera performance at the age of 12, he understood how to make a score glisten with greasepaint in the studio.
The legendary 1961 Swan Lake was one of the Concertgebouw’s first stereo recordings, and all the solos are brilliantly played by leaders of the Concertgebouw. Nearly 50 years after its release, the climactic moments of the score still continue to overwhelm, not least thanks to the Decca engineering.
The other two albums issued here were originally made by Philips, though the Serenade was first released on its Mercury sub-label, and the Suite from The Nutcracker was not issued at all until 1967, five years after being recorded. The delay is unaccountable: Fistoulari’s light hand at the tiller is unmistakable as the LSO glide through the dances of the second act. An array of soloistic musicians filled the front desks of the orchestra during the early 60s, and the wind and string solos are all played with finesse here and in the excerpts from Sleeping Beauty.