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34 Reviews
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cojocaru as Giselle...maybe one of the finest interpretations ever
Revised review Dec 02/08. (see P.P.S.)

Let me start off by saying that Giselle is my favorite ballet; I love the story, the music and the dance.

This performance was recorded in 2006 at the Royal Opera House, Covent Gardens, London and stars Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobberg in the principal roles.

This is probably the best danced and...
Published on 4 Nov 2008 by R. Nicholson

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bad Sound
I have absolutely no differences of opinion with the reviews of 5 people about the dancing, ballet, photography and the brilliance of Cojocaru et al.
BUT
I am rather surprised that no one really commented on the sound recording.
Giselle is a great ballet not just because of the theme and choreography, but even more so because the music is lovely. There have...
Published on 14 Mar 2011 by Satish Kamath


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine, possibly definitive, performance but compromised sound in the bass department, 3 Jan 2012
By 
I. Giles (Argyll, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This is a very fine performance of Giselle. I prefer it marginally to the more recent Bolshoi version and for me this remains my favourite performance.

Cojocaru's dancing in a role that seems to have been conceived for her, portrays the heroine as the lovable but fatally naïve country girl that she is and as her mother (excellent portrayal by Sandra Conley) so clearly understands. This fragility carries over convincingly to the second act where Nunez, as leader of the Willis in this act is not as cold-bloodied as some. As a result the element of redemption through love is relatively unimpeded here.

The two competing men here are well up to the task required of them although I always personally feel that the morally justified Hilarion is appallingly sacrificed so that the real villain, Albrecht, can escape proper justice. Nevertheless Hilarion as portrayed by Martin Harvey and Albrecht as portrayed by Johan Kobborg do everything that can be done to bring their roles to life on the stage.

The corps de ballet are on fine form with involving portrayals of the various crowd scenes in the first act and as the Willis in the second act. The Willis are as ethereally effective in this performance as usual although it must be admitted that those in an earlier Kirov performance were able to move as if on wheels. Astonishing!

The imaging is crisp and without movement blur. The colour range is well balanced. The sound is presented in stereo and surround 5.0 and this leads me to the reservations in the following paragraph. These may simply be the result of the recording not having a designated 5.1 sub-woofer channel to specifically take care of the bass frequencies.

The problem for me concerns the sound quality heard in surround mode on particularly wide-ranging equipment. This shows the orchestra to be working in the dry acoustic that you would expect in a packed theatre which can be adjusted to in all respects except one. That is the booming and undefined sound of the bass drum. This becomes oppressive and totally out of balance with the rest of the soundstage and is at odds with the delicate nature of the ballet. This is not a problem of the musical scoring but rather that of poor recording. This may not be an issue with less wide ranging reproduction where the bass frequencies are carried only by the main left and right speakers which often have less extended bass. Maybe a case of less giving more in terms of satisfaction!

In summary therefore I feel that five stars is richly deserved for the ballet but only three for the sound quality as revealed on my admittedly somewhat extreme equipment. However I am also aware that this may not be audibly significant with most replay equipment so perhaps only a minor adjustment of rating probably needs to be made. An overall adjustment to 4 stars would therefore seem to be fair to accommodate ballet enthusiasts who are also keen on h-fi.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alina Cojocaru as Giselle, 29 Nov 2011
This Royal Ballet production is absolutely superb. Petipa's choreography is sufficiently challenging to allow the performers to exhibit their full potential and neither the principals nor the corps de ballet failed to impress. The stage sets are very good, not overdone but sufficient to complement the dancing without causing distraction. The photography is excellent with the camera zooming in and out in appropriate sequences to allow overall view of the set as well as detailed close ups. Lighting is well managed and the images are sharp. My only reservation is that occasionally the music seemed a little thin, possibly because the orchestra, being smaller, does not produce the same dramatic intensity as one would expect from a leading symphony orchestra, but perhaps I'm being a little too fastidious. All-in-all, one to be recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shocking audio, 11 April 2013
By 
JOHN PILKINGTON "Fighter" (England) - See all my reviews
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I completely agree with another review that the audio on this DVD is simply terrible. I have a high end Etalon high fi system from Hungary that allows no editing of the sound - how it has been recorded is how you hear it. This DVD has been recorded so badly that I could only suffer around 30 minutes. To have listened to the whole DVD and this gross distortion of beautiful music would have been torture. It is such a shame as the dancing that I did see looked superb.

I am just surprised that the BBC allowed such an amateur sound recording to come onto the market. I am hoping that Amazon will take it back
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Haunting Giselle, 5 April 2011
By 
Philip Watts (Holmes Chapel, Cheshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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In this Royal Opera House recording, the quintessential Romantic ballet is given a near - definitive performance, owing chiefly to the central interpretation of Alina Cojocaru, who earned her spurs as a Royal Ballet soloist dancing the tragic peasant girl. Her performance is heart - rending, from her Act I balance of fragility, sensitivity, zest for life and amorous intensity to her ethereal steadfastness in Act II, Cojacaru has something of Fonteyn's ability to become a character by speaking dance as a language rather than merely a sequence of steps. Her Albrecht is the almost equally dramatic and accomplished Johan Kobborg whilst Marienala Nunez is outstanding dramatically and technically as the icy Myrtha. Every detail of the production adds rewardingly to the impact of the whole, such as the fine mime roles of Berthe and Bathilde, performed splendidly by Royal Ballet veterans Sandra Conley and Genesia Rosato. A delight from start to finish.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection, 7 Mar 2013
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Alina Cojacaru is rated among the top dancers of the 20th/21st Century. To watch her dance is watching perfection and with Marienela Nunez as Myrtha what more could one ask for? Well one can only hope that they record her dancing in more ballets before she too retires. Living where little live ballet comes our way and when it does recorded music is played, I can only hope that before they retire ballets featuring the Royal Ballet's principal dancers are recorded.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Giselle of exception, 27 Mar 2010
By 
Jose Brito (Estoril,Portugal) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Adam: Giselle [Blu-Ray] [2010] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Adolphe Adam wrote the music for this Romantic libretto (Saint-Georges and T.Gautier)and choreographers Perrot and Coralli created this 2 act ballet for Carlotta Grisi,in 1841.She had been his pupil,and having become his mistress, gave him a daughter,in 1837.They were never to marry.Later on,Coralli would say that he alone had choreographed it...!
One of the most celebrated ballets ,perhaps the best known and represented one,suffered various revisions - Marius Petipa,as in the present Giselle, (he was the elder brother to Lucien Petipa who had also been the first Albrecht),Nureyev,Grigorovich,etc., but never lost its luminous aura with the ingredients so dear to Romanticism(Death,the Night ,Fate ,doomed Love and Madness (Walter Scott,Goëthe,etc).
Every ballerina's dream(as in last year poignant documentary on a "corps de ballet" dancer - Véronique Doisneau),has been the glory of several dancers such as Essler, Chauviré, Karsavina, Spessivtseva, Fracci,Ulanova,Markova...
This said,romanian Alina Cojocaru,star of the Royal Ballet,brings it a new life.There are two Giselles in this 2 act ballet:In Act 1,Giselle is an innocent,"naïf" peasant girl ,full of joy ,who tragically finds a treacherous love and dies.In Act 2 she belongs to the world of the dead,integrating the legion of the Wilis( cruel,translucent virgins ),confined to the magic of the night,under Myrtha's command - their queen.
The gracefulness of this portrayed 17 year-old and moving Giselle is completely brought out by this lovely ,highly gifted ballerina.But it is in the complexity of Act 2 choreography that Cojocaru makes all the difference:Slow movements,an extremely beautiful "developpée" (Zakharova's is slightly more impressive ,at la Scala,but totally absorved in her refined technique,expressing in the face either a smile of joy or a rictus of grief throughout the whole performance,thus forgetting to bring out Giselle's inner feelings), her arms being a vehicle of expression as important as the leggs (Russian School).
She becomes aethereal ,the perfect illusion of bearing no weight as a spirit would,on "pointes" or when lifted by Kohborg.Her splendid techique,used with intelligence makes this Giselle deserving to be remembered along with the best ones.Kohborg is a wonderful Albrecht ( his variation beautifully executed) Marianela Nuñez a haughty ,convincing Myrtha and Marin Harvey a very good Hilarion.The "corps" bears the recognised quality of The Royal Ballet,live from Covent Garden,Boris Cruzin conducting with "panache".A most brilliant event.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Way to view Ballet?, 26 Aug 2009
By 
Mr. Maurice E. Taggart (Carrickfergus, County Antrim) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Adam: Giselle [Blu-Ray] [2010] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
It could be argued that High-Definition video, with top-notch ambient audio, is now by far the best way
to view Ballet or Concert Music footage (on a large plasma screen), now that a market has at last been
established for HD on DVD! No Internet Ticket Booking hassles, no coughing, hissing or booing audience
to compete with the performers -- just total bliss to get lost in.
This presentation of "Giselle" ticks all the boxes with respect to all these delectable possibilities.
Throughly recommended, for sheer unadulterated viewing and listening pleasure.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Giselle. Cojocaru and Kobborg, 29 April 2014
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A wonderful Performance. These dancers the best I have ever seen. The Royla ballet too, was exceptional.as was The Queen of the Willis
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection, 13 Mar 2014
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For me there will never be a better Giselle. I saw this live at Covent Garden when it was the first performance of Alina Cojocaru after a long illness. I will never forget the evening. No great ballerina would say they had done a perfect performance but to me she is perfection and this DVD is proves this. The production is faultless and shows the whole company in it's true glory. A treasure of a DVD for bringing back memories of a great night and a true star of ballet.
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5.0 out of 5 stars lively prima ballerina and fine dancing throughout by the ensemble, 5 Feb 2014
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19th century ballet started with the idea of ballerinas as ghosts and fairies.
In giselle this is only too clear and the ballerinas clad in white dresses float on and off the stage like
ghostly visions.The prima ballerina engages your attention rith from the first moment she appears.
For a story that could be depressing this is an uplifting experience because of the quality of the music and dancing.
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