Alice in Wonderland Ballet

City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Carl Davis / Prague Symphony Orchestra

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Alice in Wonderland Ballet Review

by Blair Sanderson

Carl Davis has become internationally renowned and admired for his film scores, but he has also composed a number of ballets on literary subjects, and this has developed into an important category of his work. In providing music for such classic tales as A Christmas Carol, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Cyrano de Bergerac, and Alice in Wonderland, Davis has extended his reach to a genre, which, like film, depends on music to carry the narrative along and to enhance its emotional content. For Alice in Wonderland, Davis has drawn on themes by Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky, the Russian master whose Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and Nutcracker are decidedly the most famous ballets in the world. Davis carefully treads through Tchaikovsky's works, adapting snippets and whole pieces from the less famous scores, such as the tone poems Hamlet and The Tempest, as well as from chamber music, keyboard miniatures, and the less familiar operas. The one borrowing that stands out most egregiously is the third movement from the Symphony No. 5 in E minor, which may work well enough on-stage as a waltz for the scene The Garden of Living Flowers, but on CD feels like an overt rip-off or simple laziness on Davis' part. With this single exception, Alice in Wonderland coheres surprisingly well, and Davis has the grace to let Tchaikovsky's music shine in a familiar idiom, thereby making this a fourth Tchaikovsky ballet by default. This may not satisfy purists, but it will please ballet lovers, and this lively performance by the City of Prague Orchestra will entertain children and adults alike.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Alice in Wonderland Ballet
1 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 02:31 Amazon
2 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 02:02 Amazon
3 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 00:41 Amazon
4 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 03:49 Amazon
5 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 03:04 Amazon
6 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 01:15 Amazon
7 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 01:22 Amazon
8 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 02:26 Amazon
9 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 03:00 Amazon
10 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 01:26 Amazon
11 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 02:26 Amazon
12 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 06:00 Amazon
13 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 00:59 Amazon
14 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 03:19 Amazon
15 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 01:49 Amazon
16 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 05:42 Amazon
17 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 02:47 Amazon
18 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 00:34 Amazon
19 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 00:21 Amazon
20 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 05:27 Amazon
21 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 02:45 Amazon
22 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 03:28 Amazon
23 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 01:01 Amazon
24 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 01:20 Amazon
25 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 01:31 Amazon
26 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 02:04 Amazon
27 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 01:27 Amazon
28 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 00:58 Amazon
29 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 01:29 Amazon
30 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 01:36 Amazon
31 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 03:41 Amazon
32 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 00:20 Amazon
33 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 00:56 Amazon
34 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 02:18 Amazon
35 Carl Davis / City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Prague Symphony Orchestra 02:03 Amazon
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