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This immensely winning two-disc set inaugurates an ambitious (and welcome) new project by Chandos to record Tchaikovsky’s ballet scores in the studio’s exemplary surround sound.

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The survey begins in striking fashion with the complete score of The Sleeping Beauty (Swan Lake and The Nutcracker are to follow in 2013 and 2014, respectively – if there’s still a classical music industry then).

Tchaikovsky’s ballet adaptation of Charles Perrault’s La Belle au bois dormant was distinguished by the composer’s utilisation of then-unorthodox instrumental combinations, and had an influence on later composers such as Stravinsky.

This is a splendidly colourful and poetic reading of the score, with only a handful of caveats (might the famous waltz have been dispatched with a touch more panache?), but at a stroke this becomes the default reading of the complete score.

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