Here is a private look at a star of the Paris Opera in a special pointe class taught by the ballet master, Andrey Klemm. Filmed in the dance studios of the Paris Opera, this complete ballet class gives the viewer an insight into the magnificent environment of this world famous opera house. The control and ability of avec une Etoile, Isabelle Ciaravola, is an inspiration to watch and Mr. Klemm actually gives her corrections to incorporate into the steps they are working on. It is a great experience to watch a true professional working on her technique.
Even with 15 other versions of Rimsky's masterpiece of orchestral virtuosity to choose from — some in the top flight — this was recognized from the first as one of the most rewarding, thanks largely to Krebbers's exceptionally sweet, gently appealing and bewitching personification of the story - spinning Scheherazade and to Kondrashin's skill in pacing and shaping movements as a whole, relating the diverse tempos and building up tension and dynamics by careful control so as to create climaxes of thrilling intensity and power. the 'shipwreck' finale, in particular, was overwhelming; and this was achieved without resorting to the ultra - fast tempos adopted by some conductors to whip up excitement. The Concertgebouw's crisp, sonorous and sensitive playing (full marks both to the splendid strings and to the wind soloists) was caught with the utmost fidelity; but the Compact Disc's total exclusion even of minimal extraneous background now marks a still further improvement, as can be judged by the dead silence against which Scheherazade's pleadings are heard. The final coda is ravishingly beautiful.