San Francisco Ballet Orchestra
Extended Suites From the Ballets
“… what charm, what wealth of melody!” —Tchaikovsky on Delibes
Leo Delibes’ COPPÉLIA is pure delight, a feast of musicality and humor for all ages. Probably the greatest ballet comedy ever written! On this disc we also present Delibes’ SYLVIA, a romance filled with sighs of longing and the thrill of infatuation. Set in antiquity, the ballet literally places love on a pedestal in the person of the Greek god Eros.
Like many popular compositions, Delibes’ works, including pieces of these ballets, have repeatedly been used in films dating back to the earliest talkies. His music is also a favorite of cartoon series “Ren and Stimpy” and “The Simpsons.”
The San Francisco Ballet, the oldest professional ballet company in America, was also one of the first dance companies to have its own permanent body of musicians. By the 1990s the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra was generally regarded as one of the finest ballet orchestras in the world. Notably, in 1995, the Orchestra accompanied 12 international dance companies, as well as San Francisco Ballet, during the ambitious, weeklong United We Dance Festival, which promoted international communication and understanding.
The San Francisco Ballet Orchestra performs a vast repertory including hundreds of works spanning four centuries of music history, from Monteverdi and Mozart to film scores. The San Francisco Ballet Orchestra has made critically acclaimed recordings of composers from Handel to Goldenthal, as well as five televised recordings for the PBS series “Dance in America” (Helgi Tomasson’s Nutcracker; Lar Lubovitch’s Othello; Michael Smuin’s The Tempest, Cinderella, and Romeo & Juliet)
CONDUCTOR MARTIN WEST is acknowledged as one of the foremost conductors of ballet, garnering critical acclaim throughout the world. West conducted the English National Ballet starting in fall 1997 until 2007. He has worked with many of the top companies in North America, such as New York City Ballet, Houston Ballet and the National Ballet of Canada. In fall 2005, West was appointed music director & principal conductor for the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra.
Founded in San Francisco in 1976, Reference Recordings believes that how a recording sounds is as important as the music itself. RR thanks everyone who was instrumental in bringing this outstanding album to life including Conductor: Martin West; Producers: Victor and Marina Ledin (Multi-Grammy Nominations for Producer of the Year, Classical); Engineer: “Prof.” Keith O. Johnson (Grammy® award-winning engineer, inventor and entertainment technologist) and very special thanks to all the Sponsors of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra without whom this recording could not have been made.
“Both scores receive first-rate performances… [Martin West] obviously knows the scores like the back of his hand… As such, both Coppélia and Sylvia are performances of grace and elegance… [Keith] Johnson captures his usual glorious sound.” —Anthony Kershaw, Audiophilia.com
“The beautifully full and rich Keith Johnson recording will please most music lovers with not even a hint of harshness or distortion to be heard.” —Karl Lozier, PositiveFeedback.com
Sylvia – Suite 40:22: 1. Prélude 2. Les Chasseresses 3. Intermezzo 4. Valse Lente 5. Cortège Rustique 6. Danse des Ethiopiens 7. Chant bachique 8. Marche et Cortège de Bacchus 9. Scène 10. Barcarole 11. Pizzicato 12. Pas des Esclaves 13. Strette – Galop 14. Apothéose
Coppélia – Suite 32:42: 15. Prélude 16. Mazurka 17. Valse Swanhilde 18. Czárdás (Danse hongroise) 19. Scène 20. Valse de la poupée 21. Valse des Heures 22. L’Aurore (Les Fleurs) 23. L Prière (La Nuit) 24. Le Travail (La Fileuse) 25. L’Hymen (Noce villageoise) 26. Galop Final