The Frederick Ashton Collection: Volume One


The Frederick Ashton Collection: Volume One Box Set released 2018. Below are the discs. Each of them has already been reported on this website, and you can get more details by using the links provided:

  1. Ashton Celebration (with ballets La Valse, Meditation from Thaïs, Voices of Spring, Monotones I and II, and Marguerite and Armand). Grade: A.

  2. Ashton Rhapsody and The Two Pigeons. Grade: B for Rhapsody, C+ for The Two Pigeons)

  3. Ashton Triple Bill (with ballets Symphonic Variations, Marguerite and Armand, and The Dream). Grade: A for Symphonic Variations; A- for Marguerite and Armand; C+ for Dream.

Total Grade: B+

This box set includes 9 ballets spread out over 3 highly-regarded discs. Please note there are two different recordings of Marguerite and Armand with different casts. Per Wikipedia, Ashton made some 80 ballets. The fact that this box is called “Volume One” suggests to us that the Royal Ballet and Opus Arte plan to completely document in additional boxes all Ashton works still in repertory, which would be a monumentally important project for serious ballet fans and ballet professionals alike. (We know on good authority that Opus Arte and the RSC intend to publish in Blu-ray all of Shakespeare. So why would they not do something like this for Ashton, who is more or less the founding father of Royal Ballet choreography.)