ANTILL: Corroboree Ballet Suite GINASTERA:
Panambi and Estancia Ballet Suites
Audio buffs should be aware of this outstanding CD, restoring to the catalog recordings made well over three decades ago, but recognized at the time -- and since -- as sonic blockbusters. The late Bert Whyte was producer/engineer for these early Everest recordings, and he was a master of his art. These were made in London's Walthamstow Assembly Hall, a venue known for fine recordings. The high point of this CD is Corroboree, a 25-minute suite from the ballet by Australian composer John Antill (1904-1986). His name (and this recording) are not listed in the latest Schwann/Opus, an unfortunate oversight. Antill wrote several ballets, the opera The Music Critic, and music for films. Corroboree is his best-known work, representing the Australian aboriginal dance ceremony of the same name. Eugene Goossens championed the score and fortunately made this recording of a representative set of dances, about half of the complete ballet. The scoring includes massive percussion, used to great effect in the exotic tribal dances that pervade the work. Exhilarating listening, indeed. The CD also contains two vibrant ballet suites by Ginastera, who was another master of orchestral color, with such colorful movements as "Invocation of the Powerful Spirits," "Dance of the Warriors," and "Malambo." Villa-Lobos' delightful "Little Train of the Caipira" from his Bachianas Brasileiras No. 2 fills out this worthy CD. As stated before, the sound is sure to please those whose focus is audio quality. Playing time is only 54:16, but this is a mid-price CD. Hearing is believing - and buying!
R.E.B. (January 2001)