The Hanssler release of the complete ballets of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes has been a sluggish affair, which seems to indicate that the buying public is not-so-much interested, possibly because the recordings and interpretations have not been stellar. There are better recordings of The Firebird elsewhere, for example. What might have piqued the buyers' interest was the offering of ballets never before recorded. Maximilian Steinberg's "Midas," Hahn's " Le dieu bleu," and Rietti's "Le Bal" are good examples. Rietti's "Barabau" was available on a Melodiya LP but has not been released in CD format.
That said, this current release is wonderful due to the lively and adept conducting of Robert Reimer, although the orchestral playing is not perfect. Both Milhaud's satiric "Le train bleu" and Sauguet's sly "La chatte" were available as part of a set conducted by Markovich (which has appeared on different labels). This new recording outclasses the previous, especially in terms of recorded sound. Unfortunately, although the Scarlatti-Tommasini " Les femmes de bonne humeur" has been recorded a few times (Robert Irving's and Louis Lane's versions come to mind), we have only a suite rather than the complete ballet. It may take the advocacy of La Vecchia on Naxos to give us a complete recording. As part of this series, this CD may be the finest. The Georges Auric ballets (Vol. 7), though rare, were somewhat disappointing in quality, and "Les Matelots" has yet to be issued. But this Vol. 9 disc is a winner.