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Lord Berners: Ballet Music
8.574370 (Naxos, CD)
REISSUE/COMPILATION (11 March 2022)
Booklet pages: 8
℗ 1995, 2000 Naxos Rights US Inc
© 2022 Naxos Rights US Inc
Main country of recording: Ireland
Country of manufacture: Germany
Reviewer: Gerald Fenech
Review of Lord Berners: Ballet Music published on 15 May 2022
Miriam Blennerhassett, mezzo-soprano (tracks 8 and 10)
Members of the RTÉ Chamber Choir ( tracks 3, 10 and 11)
Royal Ballet Sinfonia (track 1)
Gavin Sutherland, conductor (track 1)
RTÉ Sinfonietta (tracks 2-18)
David Lloyd-Jones, conductor (tracks 2-18)
Lord Berners (1883-1950):
1 Fanfare (1931)
Les Sirènes (Complete Ballet) (1946)
3 Opening Scene (first recording)
4 Entry of the Fashionable Folk: Tempo di Valse
6 Farruca (first recording)
7 Allegro agitato (first recording)
9 Pas de deux (first recording)
10 Scene (first recording)
11 Dénouement (first recording)
Cupid and Psyche (Ballet Suite) (1939) (first recording)
14 Pas de deux
16 Les Zéphyrs
17 Prelude to Act 3
18 Valse lente and Final Dance
Recorded 15 September 1999 at Whitfield Street Studios, London UK and previously released on Marco Polo 8.225155 (track 1).
Recorded 10-11 November 1994 at O'Reilly Hall, Dublin, Ireland and previously released on Marco Polo 8.223780 (tracks 2-18).
Lord Berners excelled in the ballet medium where he enjoyed collaborations with leading choreographers and conductors with whom his natural flair for spectacle and design could be explored to the full. In 1946 he wrote Les Sirènes, set on a French beach in 1904 with an exotic cast – the music is atmospheric, graceful and full of allusions to other composers. Cupid and Psyche was not a critical success but its music transcended weaknesses in the scenario and the suite is both orchestrally deft and thematically memorable.