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Strauss's ballet "Cinderella"

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I was lucky enough to get a hold of Bonynge's recording of Johann Strauss II last work - the 1899 ballet "Cinderella", which I got through Ebay (along with the loooong out of print recording by Lanchbery of the full-length "La Fille Mal Gardee", which included Bonynge's recording of "Mam'zelle Angot").

The music was absolutly beautiful, in the manner of his best waltzes and polkas - passionate, beautiful ballet music. I could not compare it to Prokofiev's score, as I find them both to be masterpieces. But also, I think they are so different from one another that a comparison cannot be made.

All balletomanes should really hear this music - it is beautiful!

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The National Ballet of Cuba performed a version of the Strauss "Cinderella" or "Aschenbrodel" at City Center in January/February 1998. The sets and costumes were unbelievably amateurish, cartoonish and cheap. Anna Kisselgoff called the choreography "inept". The dancing was another matter - I saw Alihaydee Carreno and Osmay Molina as the leads with Ivette Regueiro as the Fairy Godmother. All were excellent classical stylists.

It was choreographed by one Pedro Consuegra who seemed to be a very interesting polymath but only an indifferent if professional choreographer. He expanded the score by adding more Strauss waltzes. The music was taped and may have been from the Bonynge recording. Some people felt hearing a whole evening of Strauss waltzes was like have a three-course dinner of just schlag with sugar. Too much the same and too rich and sweet! :blush:

I believe the original Vienna version was updated to be contemporary to the period (1890's) and was set in a department store!

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I also saw a Cinderella performance to Strauss's score, choreographed by Veronica Paeper and performed by Cape Town City Ballet (formerly CAPAB). Paeper turned it into a kind of "ballet pantomime", interspersing narration with the music. In the last act, she did a take on "Sleeping Beauty" by having various fairytale characters attend the wedding, including Sleeping Beauty herself. It was amusing in its way, but disappointing for people who expected "serious ballet".

Strauss's music is beautiful, but personally I prefer Prokofiev's score - it tells the story so much more dramatically!

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