Number of Discs:
Dolby Surround; Dolby Stereo
Stravinsky: The Firebird & Les Noces (The Royal Ballet)
Leanne Benjamin (The Firebird); Jonathon Cope (Ivan Tsarevich); Zenaida Yanowsky (Bride); David Drew (The Immortal Katschei); David Pickering (Bridegroom);
A double bill which contrasts the vibrant colours of Stravinskys best-loved ballet, The Firebird, with the stark ritual of Les Noces, choreographed by the legendary Nijinska. With Leanne Benjamin as the Firebird the modern Royal Ballet production is complemented by a 1965 archive recording of The Firebird Suite, conducted by Stravinsky himself (PAL version only).
"The Firebird and Les Noces in revelatory and near definitive versions " (The Independent)
"Many music lovers may think that they know The Firebird inside out. But without reproductions of the original choreography and the sets and costumes extraordinary spangle and splash, they have enjoyed only half the experience. Here again are those stabbing notes but now we see the spectacle they accompany, with dancer David Drews spindly fingers stretched out, the costume fantastical, gestures tearing the air. The folk rituals of Les Noces, danced against the sparest décor, offer a far different experience, no less enthralling. The joy of this DVD stretches beyond the images. John Carewe brings to his conducting vast experience and love of these pivotal 20th-century scores. And the Royal Opera House Orchestra play like angels, or devils (the music demands both), on top of every nuance, riding every thwack and thrust." (The Times)
"A moving and well-directed visual record, totally free from attention-seeking camerawork, brings these two marvellous ballets in their original choreography back to life, as if one had the privilege of visiting Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. The dancing is of the highest standard, led by Leanne Benjamin's Firebird, and costumes and sets are visually equally memorable." (The Penguin Guide)
'Nijinska's World' - David Drew remembers his role in Nijinskas original production of Les Noces. Rehearsals of The Firebird and Les Noces.