Tchaikovsky: The Sleeping Beauty

Album review
Tchaikovsky: The Sleeping Beauty

Tchaikovsky

The Sleeping Beauty

Label: Speakers Corner
Media: LP
Genre: Classical
Ratings:



This Sleeping Beauty, arguably the finest of Tchaikovsky’s ballets, was recorded in 1959 with Ernest Ansermet on the podium leading L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. These meticulously manufactured Speakers Corner LPs demonstrate well what Kenneth Wilkinson and colleagues achieved with their famed “Decca tree” stereo microphone array. The sound represents the best of the ffss era. Strings are beautifully textured, always a plus in Tchaikovsky when violins and cellos soar in unison a couple of octaves apart. The brass section has a crisp bite and woodwinds are truthfully represented, both the pleasant woodiness of the clarinets and the not-so-pleasant tartness of the 1959 OSR’s oboes. The harp is tactile, and small percussion instruments are easily heard over an orchestral tutti as they are in life. Ansermet had a gift for bringing this sort of music to life. Complete ballet scores on disc or in concert can get repetitive—that’s why there are so many ballet suites—but the conductor here takes full responsibility for presenting a cogent narrative. Tempo choices are perfect.

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Contributors:
  • composer, Tchaikovsky
  • composer, Ernest Ansermet
  • primary artist, L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande

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