Adolphe Adam’s ballet music for ‘Giselle’ is one of those not-so-serious classical works, and a fun listen. Take a touch of Tchaikovsky ballet music and add a taste of Strauss waltz music, and you have ‘Giselle’. The Ballet Suite shows up on various recordings here and there, but to get more of the music, you have two great options. Bonygne and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Gardens recorded a complete 2CD set that hails from the 1960’s. Another great recording is a CD of selected movements by Michael Tilson Thomas and the London Symphony Orchestra. At over 76 minutes you can hear the majority of Adam’s music, and is a great buy too.
Giselle (French: Giselle ou les Wilis) is a ballet in two acts with a libretto by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Théophile Gautier, music by Adolphe Adam, and choreography by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot. The librettist took his inspiration from a poem by Heinrich Heine. The ballet tells the story of a lovely peasant girl named Giselle who has a passion for dancing, and when she finds out the man she loves is engaged to someone else she dies of a broken heart. Giselle was first presented by the Ballet du Théâtre de l’Académie Royale de Musique at the Salle Le Peletier in Paris, France, on 28 June 1841.