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Swan Lake: Comp

Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky Audio CD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 39.95
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Product Details

Disc: 1
1. Swan Lake Op. 20: Act I No. 1 Scene (Allegro giusto)
2. Swan Lake Op. 20: Act I No. 2 Valse (Tempo di valse)
3. Swan Lake Op. 20: Act I No. 3 Scene (Allegro moderato)
4. Swan Lake Op. 20: Act I No. 4 Pas de trois: I. Intrada (Allegro), II. Andante sostenuto, III. Allegro semplice - Presto, IV. Moderato, V. Allegro, VI. Coda (Allegro vivace)
5. Swan Lake Op. 20: Act I No. 5 Pas de deux: I. Tempo di valse ma non troppo vivo, quasi moderato, II. Andante - Allegro - Molto piu mosso, III. Tempo di valse, IV. Coda (Allegro molto vivace)
6. Swan Lake Op. 20: Act I No. 6 Pas d'action (Andantino quasi moderato - Allegro)
7. Swan Lake Op. 20: Act I No. 7 Sujet
8. Swan Lake Op. 20: Act I No. 8 Danse des coupes (Tempo di polacca)
9. Swan Lake Op. 20: Act I No. 9: Finale (Andante)
10. Swan Lake Op. 20: Act II No. 10 Scene (Moderato)
See all 13 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Swan Lake Op. 20: Act III No. 15 Allegro giusto
2. Swan Lake Op. 20: Act III No. 16 Danses du corps de ballet et des nains (Moderato assai - Allegro vivo)
3. Swan Lake Op. 20: Act III No. 17 Scene. Sortie des invites et valse (Allegro - Tempo di valse)
4. Swan Lake Op. 20: Act III No. 18 Scene (Allegro - Allegro giusto)
5. Act III: No. 19: Pas de six: I Intrada - II Moderato assai - III Variation 1 (Allegro) - IV Variation 2 (Andante con moto) - V Variation 3 (Moderato) - VI Variation 4 (Allegro) - VII Variation 5 (Moderato - Allegro simplice) - VIII Coda (Allegro molto ...
6. Swan Lake Op. 20: Act III: Numero supplementaire: Pas de deux: I Introduction - II Moderato - Andante - III Variation 1 (Allegro moderato) - IV Variation 2 (Allegro) - V Coda (Allegro molto vivace)
7. Swan Lake Op. 20: Act III: No. 20: Danse hongroise. Czardas (Moderato assai - Allegro moderato - Vivace)
8. Swan Lake Op. 20: Act III: No. 20a: Numero supplementaire: Danse russe (Moderato - Andante simplice - Allegro vivo- Presto)
9. Swan Lake Op. 20: Act III: No. 21: Danse espagnole (Allegro non troppo. Tempo di bolero)
10. Swan Lake Op. 20: Act III: No. 22: Danse napolitaine (Allegro moderato - Andantino quasi moderato - Presto)
See all 17 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent performance and recording Feb. 23 2010
Format:Audio CD
I've been listening to this album for a few years, and now I am comparing it with the performance by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conductor Seiji Ozawa, 1979, on Deutshe Grammophon. My first impression is that Dutoit - Montréal's performance is far better; the first scene, for example, more felt; the fast violin intros to the later scenes, more dynamic. In Dutoit - Montréal, the violins at the start of piece 28 convey the urgency of the unfolding drama; in the BSO, the same violins simply feel slow. Similarly, in Dutoit - Montréal, piece 29 starts with a bright cymbal (Siegfried enters); in the BSO, it starts with an anticlimactic thud.

I purchased Dutoit - Montréal's recording originally because I am from Montreal and I desired to encourage the Montreal Symphonic Orchestra. Now I realize that it is probably an excellent performance and recording. Please note though, that some pieces are missing (for example, piece 14 in act 2), presumably because they weren't performed during the ballet.

At last, if you aren't sure whether to purchase the full ballet score: do purchase it, it is well worth it; pieces 28 and 29 are stunning, but are not included in the standard 'suite' selection.
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Format:Audio CD
This is a performance best appreciated by people who are primarily fans of Tchaikovsky's symphonic output. Ballet aficionados and budding dancers are better served by one of the rival versions.
It is not that Dutoit's intepretation lacks any genuine feeling for dance --- indeed he and the Montreal orchestra offer dazzling accounts of the big dance numbers. However, compared to Previn's LSO version, for example, which, from the first bar to the last positively sways with the spirit of dance, Dutoit seems to have invisibly divided his intepretation into a chain-series of slow "interludes" and fast dance numbers. Using broad tempi to play up the atmospheric beauty of the former and brisk ones for the latter, many interesting musical contrasts are achieved. (Just listen to the lead-ups to the Goblet Dance.) You could say that while eminently danceable versions like Previn's and Ozawa's operate in one smooth gear throughout, you can hear Dutoit constantly changing gears!
Hence, Dutoit's Swan Lake really plays like one of Tchaikovsky's orchestral tone poems, more so than being a thoroughly balletic reading. Dramatically and musically it remains just as effective. However, I can imagine the frustrations felt by budding dancers trying to practice to this recording. It is possible to become schizo-ic, attempting to traverse Dutoit's wide range of tempi.
A beautifully atmospheric performance of Tchaikovsky's masterpiece nonetheless, and certainly the recording with the best sound. A Swan Lake for arm-chair listeners!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty, but missing LIFE Sept. 7 2001
Format:Audio CD
This recording was my very first recording of the complete Swan Lake, and I listed to it for one and a half years, never fully enjoying Swan Lake. I'm an avid Tchaikovsky fan, especially drawn to his ballets. I hold Sleeping Beauty in the highest place, and of course I'm charmed by the Nutcracker, but from the CD I with the scraps of recycled music from his 3rd symphony, and the timbre of the orchestral tutti that becomes numbing after many hours (compared to the more diverse and inventive scoring of Nutcrk and SlpBty).
Even though I thought I didn't like Swan Lake, I picked up a ANTAL DORATI's fine one on Mercury. I had heard this recording before and was at first turned-off by the harsh clarity of the sound (the recording is so bright, alive and clear that you even hear the mistakes, but now I've become a different listener- Dorati is of a different tradition, and beyond being merely "correct"...) Upon my second listen to Dorati, Swan Lake sprang to life. The most dull parts from Dutoit seemed especially lively in Dorati's. His tempi are markedly faster, the sound is bright and living, and dance is so integrated into Dorati's interpretaion, it sounds as if the whole orchestra will get up and dance the ballet themsleves!! What better way to play, than to sound like you LOVE playing it!?
In Dutoit's defense, there is some etremely beautiful Orchestral playing no doubt. (although the poor orchestra, he was probably a JERK to them)I urge most people to buy both, even if you are only partially a Tchaik fan. Ballerina's should stick with Dorati for tempo (my dance friends have made fun of my Dutoit recording for its frumpy tempi)- however this is all up to taste. Dutoit's sound is like a Beef stew- All the potatoes, beef, and veggies taste the same.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Dutoit....do wha? Oct. 20 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
As an anti-fan of Dutoit, I must say that he's done it again: this is another real stinker! The entire recording is dull and lifeless, halfway through the first act I can't help but leaning my head all the way back, opening my mouth slightly, allowing a bit of drool to run down my neck, and transform into a vegetable with no appreciation for Tchaikovsky's fire and intent for the way an orchestra should sound... The reason the performance on this disc set is so "perfect" is because they orchestra members knew that if they missed a note, they would be shot. Recently, the Montreal Symphony forced Dutoit to resign, and they made the right choice. This recording is correct, but not good. If you're looking for an excellent Swan Lake recording, keep looking.
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