Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Bonynge's Recording Of "giselle"

Recommended Posts

I have Richard Bonye's magnificent recording of the full, original "Giselle" from Decca. The recording contains many passages that are not part of the moden performance tradition. One passages in particular occurs right before the Grand Pas de deux of Act II, & is omitted from every production of "Giselle" I have ever seen - its a very beautiful movement, and sounds really like something one would hear maybe from an 18th century composer, much less Adam. It starts out with a very 18th century lush movement from the whole string-section, - of all of the music for this ballet this one number sounds really out of place

Does anyone know what purpose this passage served in the original production - for those who have the CD, its the number that occurs right before the Grand pas de deux of Act II, (Track 7, CD 2) - the liner notes call this track 'Entree d'Hilarion, scene et fugue des Wilis'

Link to comment

The fugue is a true fugue, following the rules of fuguing as laid down in the baroque period, and a recent revival in terms of Giselle, following the renewed interest in Bach championed by Felix Mendelssohn. I believe that Mary Skeaping attempted a reconstruction of it in her staging of the ballet. How successful it was, I do not know.

Link to comment

besides skeaping's inclusion of the wili fugue, the trock's GISELLE, ACT II, used it years ago too i think; most recently i believe kirk peterson's staging of GISELLE for the hartford ballet included this musical passage. (the dramatic point, if mem. serves, is to present a scene where the wili band tries to advance toward the grave and its cross, even as the power of the cross keeps repelling them.)

Link to comment

fyi: i can't recall if marian smith's BALLET AND OPERA IN THE AGE OF 'GISELLE' has been trumpeted on this site, but anyone hoping to plumb the depths of Giselle's musical and performance history should not fail to comb this well researched work. 2000 - princeton university press.

Link to comment

indeed, smith has a couple footnotes about recordings of GISELLE as such recorded music compares to her study of the ballet and its 'choreographic' text and production history; looking up Bonynge in the index leads to them.

also the following cat. entry notes another study of GISELLE that makes specific comment about the bonynge and zuraitis recordings of the music: the former on decca the latter, melodia/angel.

Ries, Frank W. D.

In search of Giselle: "travels with a chameleon romantic."

Dance magazine. New York. Aug 1979, p [59]-74. illus

Notes: Traces changes in the ballet from its original production in 1841 to the present. Chart (p. 72-73) compares score of 1841 Paris production with the 1888 St. Petersburg version.

Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...