Now available in multi-channel SACD as well as the CD recording!
The Cincinnati Pops collection of Ballet Favorites offers some of the finest musical moments from the classical French tradition, as well as the vibrant Russian repertory that grew from and revitalized that tradition in the late nineteenth century.
Ballet is a French invention, though dance had played a part in entertainment since the days of the ancient Greeks. It was not until King Louis XIV granted a license in 1661 to a group of his dance instructors to establish Académie Royale de Danse that ballet became a professional art form.
On this recording of Ballet Favorites, Kunzel and the Pops perform music from many well-known works, as well as a few rare compositions—a total of 18 tracks, including two bonus tracks. The core repertoire of Ballet Favorites includes Tchaikovsky's Waltz of the Flowers from Act II of The Nutcracker, as well as his Waltz from Act 1 of Swan Lake; Stravinsky's Finale from The Firebird; Shostakovich's Polka from The Golden Age; and some lesser known ballets, including Kabalevsky's Galop from The Comedians and Pugni's Finale, No. 8 from Pas de Quatre. The bonus tracks are Offenbach's Galop from La Parisienne and his Can-Can from Orpheus in the Underworld.
The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra was established by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Board of Trustees in 1977, when Erich Kunzel was named as its conductor. The Cincinnati Pops, composed of musicians of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, is one of the world's most active classical pops ensembles, performing twenty subscription concerts during the Music Hall season and ten subscription concerts at Riverbend Music Center, the orchestra's outdoor summer home, where the inaugural concert was given by Maestro Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops on July 4, 1984. Maestro Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops are also the custodians of another of Cincinnati's cherished outdoor musical traditions, the Concerts in the Parks series.
The Cincinnati Pops has gained new fans the world over through tour performances (Japan and Taiwan in 1990 and again in 1997, plus domestic performances that include concerts every other year at New York's Carnegie Hall), recordings on the Telarc label (their 75th Telarc recording, Classics at the Pops, was released in March 2004).