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Apollowhich version?


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#16 DanielBenton

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 02:30 PM

I am suggesting that Balanchine had (and has) valid compositional (i.e., structural) reasons for making the cuts. 



#17 Helene

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 02:40 PM

He didn't need any reason:  he had control over his ballets.  He was in declining health, and impatient: Baryshnikov had joined NYCB and his health issues curtailed their collaboration.  He also allowed the full-length version to be staged throughout the US and Europe concurrently with the truncated version.



#18 dirac

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 05:11 PM

He didn't need any reason, but plainly he must have had something in mind (which wouldn't necessarily require him to forbid performance of the longer version).  Also, as Suzanne Farrell notes in her book, cutting away at his own choreography is one thing and doing the same to Stravinsky's work another. She was puzzled enough to bring it up to Balanchine directly: ("You don't usually cut music like that." "No, I don't." End of discussion.)

 

DanielBenton, yours is an intriguing possibility. I don't know if I agree offhand but it's something to think about. I wonder if Balanchine thought the old choreography a bit dated?

 

Thanks for pulling up the old thread, cubanmiamiboy.



#19 Helene

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 05:50 PM

Balanchine did cut and re-arrange the movements of other composers' music, notably Tchaikovsky -- Orchestral Suite No. 4 for "Mozartiana", Tchaikovsky Suite No. 3 for "Theme and Variations", Serenade for Strings for "Serenade", first dropping the last movement and then reinstating it as the penultimate movement of the ballet, and adding a violin solo from "The Sleeping Beauty" to "Nutcracker," dropping the male solo, and and moving the Sugarplum Fairy variation to the beginning of Act II -- and Mendelssohn -- dropping a movement of Symphony No. 3 for "Scotch Symphony" and dropping the development section of the Symphony No. 9 for the adagio in the "A Midsummer Night's Dream" Act II Divertissement.  However, as you note with Farrell's example, changing Stravinsky had been another story for him.

 

If there was an aesthetic reason, I think he was rejecting the dance style he used for Leto and the birth scene.  It's interesting that he did the opposite of Wagner in the Ring, which was meant to be one opera, "Siegfried's Tod," but after Wagner completed the libretto, he decided we needed to know Siegfried's origins, and then about his parents, and then about the gods.  Balanchine decided that New Yorkers, anyway, didn't need to know from where Apollo came.



#20 kfw

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 06:16 PM

If there was an aesthetic reason, I think he was rejecting the dance style he used for Leto and the birth scene.

 

That makes sense to me, and there is also Charles M. Joseph's contention, in Stravinsky & Balanchine: A Journey of Invention, that

 

Stravinsky originally included [the birth scene] only to make the ballet longer and increase the profit 

 

Joseph bases that on Balanchine's telling John Gruen in Dance Magazine that

 

the reason [Stravinsky] divided the story into two parts was because the society considered each part a separate entity, and in that way more money could be collected.

 



#21 Helene

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 06:58 PM

Balanchine used different versions of "Firebird" and I think one other piece so that Stravinsky would receive royalties on the newer versions after they expired on the older versions.  Stravinsky died eight years before Balanchine took the scalpel to "Apollo," but Vera Stravinsky was alive until 1982, and perhaps she received royalties on the shorter version?



#22 sandik

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 08:02 PM

Balanchine used different versions of "Firebird" and I think one other piece so that Stravinsky would receive royalties on the newer versions after they expired on the older versions.  Stravinsky died eight years before Balanchine took the scalpel to "Apollo," but Vera Stravinsky was alive until 1982, and perhaps she received royalties on the shorter version?

Off the top of my head there are a couple of examples where Balanchine used a version of the score that would pay royalties to Stravinsky -- I think that was part of the reasoning.

 

Essentially, though, Balanchine could change any of his work at any time for any reason -- it was his work.  I still think the longer version of Apollo is the better one.  But as they say, your mileage may vary!



#23 DanielBenton

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 05:20 AM

These are interesting surmises and educational for me to read.




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