André PrevinWhen André Previn began his classical career in the late 1960s, he committed himself to conducting only works he loved, which on its face seemed a severely limiting choice. Fortunately for his many fans, Previn's repertoire turned out to be quite large, and he established himself as one of the world's leading conductors as director of the London Symphony Orchestra from 1968 to 1975. Starting in 1972, and continuing at two year intervals, Previn and the LSO released recordings of the complete ballets of Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky --The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and Sleeping Beauty -- which became extremely popular titles for EMI. The same service was rendered for Sergey Prokofiev's great ballets, Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella, in 1973 and 1983 respectively. As LPs and later as CDs, these recordings enjoyed multiple reissues, and their place in EMI's catalog has ensured them longevity and seems secure.

In 2009, the label began reissuing these classic performances in the EMI Classics twofer series, so what are arguably the finest complete recordings of these ballets from the analog era are available again at affordable prices in ADD format. The excerpts provided below should give a good idea of how terrific these performances still sound, even by today's rigorous standards.

The NutcrackerTchaikovsky - The Nutcracker

Miniature Ouverture
The Decoration of the Christmas Tree
Children's Galop and Entry of the Parents
Divertissement. Chocolate: Spanish Dance
Divertissement. Coffee: Arabian Dance
Divertissement. Tea: Chinese Dance
Divertissement. Trepak. Russian Dance
Divertissement. Dance of the Reed Pipes
Divertissement. Mother Gigogne
Waltz of the Flowers
Pas de deux

Sleeping BeautyTchaikovsky - Sleeping Beauty

Prologue: The Christening. No. 1: March
Prologue: The Christening. No. 2: Dance Scene
Act 1. The Spell. No. 6: Waltz
Act 1. The Spell. No. 7 Scene
Act 1. The Spell. No. 8 Pas d'action : Rose Adagio
Act 3. The Wedding. No. 24. Pas de caractère: Puss-in-Boots and the White Cat
Act 3. The Wedding. No. 30. Finale and Apotheosis

Swan LakeTchaikovsky - Swan Lake

Act 1. Introduction
Act 1. No. 1: Scene
Act 1. No. 2: Waltz
Act 2. No. 13. Dance of the Swans. 4. Dance of the Little Swans
Act 2. No. 13. Dance of the Swans. 7. Coda
Act 3. No. 20. Hungarian Dance: Csárdás
Act 3. No. 21. Spanish Dance
Act 3. No. 23. Mazurka
Act 4. No. 29. Finale

Romeo and JulietProkofiev - Romeo and Juliet

Act 1. Scene 1. No. 1. Introduction
Act 1. Scene 1. No. 4. Morning Dance
Act 1. Scene 2. No. 10. Juliet as a young girl
Act 1. Scene 2. No. 13. Dance of the Knights
Act 1. Scene 2. No. 16. Madrigal
Act 1. Scene 2. No. 19. Balcony Scene
Act 1. Scene 2. No. 21. Love Dance
Act 2. Scene 3. No. 33. Tybalt and Mercutio fight
Act 3. Scene 1. No. 38. Romeo and Juliet (Juliet's bedroom)
Act 3. Epilogue. No. 52. Death of Juliet

CinderellaProkofiev - Cinderella

Act 1. No. 1. Introduction
Act 1. No. 3. Cinderella
Act 1. No. 8. Departure for the Ball
Act 1. No. 10. Gavotte
Act 2. No. 20. Court dance
Act 2. No. 32. Cinderella's variation
Act 2. No. 33. The Prince's variation
Act 2. No. 36. Pas de deux: The Prince and Cinderella
Act 3. No. 43. Orientalia
Act 3. No. 48. The Prince finds Cinderella