Massenet: Ballet Music [Patrick Gallois, Barcelona Symphony Orchestra] [Naxos: 8573123]
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Jules Massenet is best known for operas such as Manon and Werther, but his less familiar stage works are also packed with superb intermezzos and ballet music. Evocative scenes bring the mythical story of Bacchus to life, while Hérodiade deals with the tragic biblical narrative of Herod, Salome and St John the Baptist. Turbulent temptations and passions clash with monastic life in Thaïs, and the Spanish dances of Le Cid bring us into worlds of fragrant tenderness, defiant pride and exuberant celebration.
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