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Two Ballets Performed with Zest By Rattle and FriendsApril 21 2006
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Sadly the original recording of this Stravinsky 'Pulcinella' complete ballet made in 1977 and paired with Stravinsky's Suite No. 1 and Suite No. 2 (both based on further ideas from the Pergolesi music that inspired the Pulcinella) is no longer available. But the complete Pulcinella ballet is intact on this fine recording. Simon Rattle conducts the Northern Sinfonia Orchestra with the superb soloists Jennifer Smith, John Fryatt and Malcolm King in an effervescent performance. The forces are so well balanced (as is the pacing by the recording engineers) that the ballet becomes the delightful neo-classical confection it was when first performed in 1919.
On this recording Rattle conducts the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in Kurt Weill's ballet-opera 'Die sieben Todsuenden' (The Seven Deadly Sins) again selecting a first rate group of soloists in Elise Ross, Ian Caley, John Tomlinson, Michael Rippon, and Anthony Rolfe Johnson. Weill's acerbic wit and dry orchestration is well handled by Rattle and his forces. This is a piece that too often is relegated to college productions and it is a pleasure to hear a fully professional performance of the work in this fine rendition. Grady Harp, April 06