Adam: Giselle

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LABELS: Capriccio
WORKS: Giselle
PERFORMER: Academy of St Martin in the Fields/Neville Marriner
Adolphe Adam, two years younger than Bellini, wrote seventy operas and 14 ballets. Virtually all that remains in current use is the ballet Giselle, the oldest in the repertoire and often regarded as the most severe test a ballerina can endure. Ample reason, I suppose, given the recording industry’s compulsion to record more or less anything that makes a noise, to present Adam’s tunefully inconsequential music for home consumption.


It is a small mercy that this recording was not taken from a stage production – at least the Academy of St Martin in the Fields has the liberty to enliven things with the odd rallentando or rubato that would have the entire corps de ballet falling off their pointes. Christopher Lambton