Although the prodigious composer, Adolphe Adam (1803-56), wrote the music to 'Giselle', it was originally the brainchild of the poet and novelist, Theophile Gautier, who was, himself, inspired by a book on German folklore, by the poet Heinrich Heine. In that book, Heine told of the legends of elemental spirits, especially those of girls who have died before their wedding day. These "Wilis" carry their mania for dance beyond the grave, and ensnare unwary travellers crossing forest glades, during the hours of darkness.
Giselle herself, is a village maiden who is courted by a handsome stranger, known only to her as Loys, in fact the Duke Albrecht in disguise. His deceit is disovered by Giselle's rejected former suitor, the woodsman Hilarion, who subsequently reveals the Duke's courting of Giselle, to the Princess Bathilde (to whom Albrecht is betrothed). The shock is so great for Giselle, that she dies of a broken heart.
In the Second Act, set in the Forest Glade, the spirit of Giselle, is admitted into the band of the Wilis. Their Queen, commands Giselle to ensnare Albrecht, but pure love still flickers in Giselle's heart, and a bitter struggle ensues, within the Wilis' band. However, Albrecht is ensnared, but saved by the break of day (at the very brink of exhaustion).
Disc One :-
1)-21) Act One
Disc Two :-
1)-13) Act Two
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, conducted by Richard Bonynge.
Disc One is in EX condition.
Disc Two is in EX- condition.