Delibes Syliva/Copelia HDCD

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Features the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra under the direction of Martin West!
TAS Rated 4/5 Music, 5/5 Sonics in July/August 2012 Issue of The Absolute Sound!

From liner notes:
"In contrast to the "heroic" drama of gods and shepherds, Delibes's earlier ballet Coppélia, or The Girl with Enamel Eyes, is an ingratiating comedy with a story line that was, and remains, unusually absorbing for its genre. Charles Nuitter, the archivist of the Paris Opéra, based his scenario on a story by E.T.A. Hoffmann called Der Sandmann, and his original working title was La Poupée de Nuremberg — which, however had been used for similarly based works by other composers. Like Tchaikovsky's subsequent Hoffmann-derived Nutcracker, this tale combines warm-hearted everyday folk in a contemporary (for its time) setting with a certain level of other-worldly fantasy for spice. Simply stated, the village girl Swanilda is engaged to Frantz; he becomes dazzled by Coppélia, who turns out to be a mechanical doll whose creator, the mysterious Dr. Coppélius, has been passing off as his daughter. Good-natured mischief sets the tone for this engaging drama, and its happy ending, while clearly foretold, is not less satisfying for all that."

Coppelia is a sentimental comic ballet with music by Leo Delibes.

Sylvia, originally Sylvia, ou La nymphe e Diane, is a full-length ballet in two or three acts. Sylvia is a typical classical ballet in many respects, yet has many interesting features which make it unique. Sylvia, the ballet, is notable for its mythological Arcadian setting and remarkable score by Leo Delibes.

The Sylvia ballet originates in Tasso's 1573 poem Aminta, which provides the basic plot of Delibes' music. The piano arrangement was composed in 1876 and the orchestral suite was done in 1880.

"For 30 years, "Professor" Keith Johnson and Reference Recordings have provided audiophiles with orchestral spectaculars to challenge high-end systems. This new CD of two perennially popular ballet favorites could be their best yet. The sense of individual instruments, or groups of instruments - say, four French horns - occupying their own space, is uncanny. The scaling of those instruments is utterly believable: Compare solo piccolo on band 6 to solo flute on track 20, for example. There's loads of detail. The buzzing of the alto sax's reed is lip-tingling, and it's tempting to try to count the number of "jingles" on the tambourine. Formidable low-end information is tectonic but precise - listen for the lightly struck bass drum in "March and Procession of Bacchus" from Sylvia. Remarkably, although this recording was made at Marin County's Skywalker Sound, we get the sense of sitting in the best seat of a real hall. The music is confectionary stuff, to be sure, but a paragon of its kind, led by a conductor known for this repertoire on both sides of the Atlantic. In short: an instant audiophile classic." 4/5 for Music, 5/5 for Sonics - Andrew Quint, The Absolute Sound Magazine, July/August 2012

• HDCD/24-bit
• Mastered by Prof. Keith O. Johnson

San Francisco Ballet Orchestra
Martin West, conductor

Leo Delibes
Sylvia - Suite
1. Prelude
2. Les Chasseresses
3. Intermezzo
4. Valse Lente
5. Cortege Rustique
6. Danse des Ethiopiens
7. Chant bachique
8. Marche et Cortege de Bacchus
9. Scene
10. Barcarole
11. Pizzicato
12. Pas des Esclaves
13. Strette - Galop
14. Apotheose
Coppelia - Suite
15. Prelude
16. Mazurka
17. Valse Swanhilde
18. Czardas (Danse hongroise)
19. Scene
20. Valse de la poupee
21. Valse des Heures
22. L'Aurore (Les Fleurs)
23. L Priere (La Nuit)
24. Le Travail (La Fileuse)
25. L'Hymen (Noce villageoise)
26. Galop Final

Total Time: 73:06

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