WORKS: Le Corsaire
PERFORMER: English Chamber Orchestra/Richard Bonynge
CATALOGUE NO: 430 286-2 DH 2 DDD
The ballet piece Le Corsaire is pure pantomime, with a flimsy plot that never grips dramatically. The music acts as a showcase for enjoyable set pieces – not least the famous pas de deux and the two visually exciting shipwrecks. But the score remains thoroughly pedestrian: it has neither the depth nor quality of Adam’s masterpiece, Giselle.
Bonynge sets sensible tempi throughout and allows the music to unfold with grace and style. The woodwind in the florid passages at the introduction to the Pas des eventails are superb, and the strings enjoy themselves with the storm sequences. But the piece remains a trifle, and probably only of interest to the most ardent ballet fan. Alasdair Steven