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I just noticed on the DG website that they are releasing a new DVD "The Best of Bolshoi Ballet" in August 2008. No repertoire is listed (yet), but details of the artists are given:

Galina Ulanova · Raissa Struchkova · Nikolai Fadeyechev

Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden · The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

The Bolshoi Theatre Ballet

Yuri Faier

(Directed by Paul Czinner. A production of UNITEL, Munich)


For those not familiar with Unitel, it is a German company with a vast catalogue of filmed Classical Music, esp. operas and concerts (from the 1950s onwards), but with (as far as I know) a very limited number of ballet films (of which the Nureyev/Fonteyn Swan Lake is of course the most famous).


So this upcoming DVD comes as a bit of a surprise (to me anyway). At least we can expect the highest quality of picture & sound from DG (whatever it turns out to be!)


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..and finally here are the details (from the DG website):


Paul Czinner’s acclaimed 1956 filming of the Bolshoi Ballet’s first-ever tour of Great Britain, which preserves two complete programs: a Bolshoi Highlights Program featuring Raissa Struchkova in the Walpurgisnacht from Gounod’s Faust, and Galina Ulanova in The Dying Swan and a thrilling performance of Giselle with Ulanova and Nikolai Fadeyechev

Also included in the Highlights Program is the celebrated Spring Water ballet, set to music by Rachmaninoff and danced with dazzling virtuosity by the outstanding members of the Bolshoi troupe

In Dance Magazine, critic Clive Barnes eulogized the artistry documented here: “Everything the Russian critics have written about her is true. The impeccable technique, the expressive body, the intellect, the informed face; yet Ulanova has something criticism could never define, something you might look for in Shakespeare’s sonnets.”

In 5.1 DTS Surround Sound

First time on DVD

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"First time on DVD?" Really...? This celebrated programme was re-issued by VAI (Video Artists International) last year.

It will be interesting to see if Unitel/Deutsche Grammophon was able to upgrade the video quality of this old film (I can live without the promised 5.1 DTS Surround - the original was recorded in mono anyway), or maybe they even found the complete version of Giselle instead of the abridged one usually seen. Otherwise this new release will be a waste of money and time. It's always good to have a model when you prepare your press release.

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