If one rendition of the Offenbach/Rosenthal arrangement Gaîté Parisienne deserves the highest marks, then it has to be the extraordinary RCA release by Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops. However, Manuel Rosenthal's recording of the ballet with the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra for EMI comes close enough to be considered as a good alternate choice. Even though it was recorded in 1954, Fiedler's brisk performance overflows with excitement, verve, and color, and is so vivid that it has been remastered and reissued by RCA in its SACD series. Slightly slower in pacing, less insouciant in its "music hall" effects, and more meticulous in detail, Rosenthal's 1976 performance has only serviceable analog sound, and this unremastered budget reissue cannot be compared fairly with Fiedler's sonic spectacular, especially in a state-of-the-art format. However, Rosenthal does get a lively performance out of the orchestra that is piquant, vivacious, and smart, and though they are less flashy than Boston, the Monte Carlo players have sufficient energy and esprit to charm the listener. The filler on this disc is an assortment of light waltzes by Émile Waldteufel, capably conducted by Willi Boskovsky, of which the best known is the perennially popular Les Patineurs (or "Skaters' Waltz").
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Gaîté Parisienne, ballet (music by Offenbach arranged by Manuel Rosenthal)|