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Alexandra

Tchaikovsky's Music

Which is Tchakovsky's Greatest Score   45 members have voted

  1. 1. Which is Tchakovsky's Greatest Score

    • 1. Swan Lake
      14
    • 2. Sleeping Beauty
      17
    • 3. The Nutcracker.
      3
    • 4. None! He's No Minkus.
      0
    • 5. Can't choose! "For dancing, always Tchaikovsky."
      11

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26 posts in this topic

The "Sleeping Beauty" thread included so many interesting comments about Tchaikovsky's score that I felt a poll coming on.....

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I desperately wanted to choose the "He's no Minkus" option, but I can't pass up voting for my favorite ballet. :)

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Whew! I'm glad someone finally voted for "Swan Lake." I took the "All" option (although "Nutcracker" is not an emotional favorite, I think it's a good score) but was worried that "Swan Lake" was so unloved!

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Thanks, Alexandra. You made it easy for me to vote for SB! There may be the odd day when I'd prefer SL, but SB has so many peerless passages.

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I had thought of doing a poll: "Minkus or Tchaikovsky? Who's the more TUNEFUL?" but then thought not.

I will also freely admit that the first time I heard "Sleeping Beauty" played at the ballet, I was disappointed in it, and Tchaikovsky had been my favorite composer since I was six. (But that was his symphonies and concerti and the Marche Slav :) ) I love it now, and I almost voted for it instead of All -- but it did take a few listenings.

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Of the scores, which in the current version is the closest to what Tchaikovsky wrote? Aren't there parts of Swan Lake that are Drigo? Is that the same with the other scores?

And isn't absolutely amazing how much dance has to contend with this issue? I mean, do we look at "Pride and Prejudice" and have to ask so much about textual authenticity? Not a few words or a typo, but entire chapters . . .

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I've loved the music to Sleeping Beauty since I was a child. I played the record constantly growing up, until I advertently melted it by leaving it on top of my father's tube amplifier. (Or maybe one of my parents did, because they were so sick of hearing me play it :wink:) I moved on to the Ormandy recording of Swan Lake excerpts, which I played every night before going to sleep, back in the day when record players shut themselves off. I owe my sister a lot for tolerating it, since we shared a room.

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I've loved the music to Sleeping Beauty since I was a child.  I played the record constantly growing

Oooh this sounds familiar. When I was real small, I had a 45rpm record (yes I know I'm dating myself) It told the story, which I loved, and used pieces of the Tchaikovsky score. I can still hear Carabosse shrilling out "she will prick her finger and FALL DOWN DEAD) To this day, the Lilac Fairy's theme takes me all the way back to when I was small listening to that record.

It was different from most of my other records, it was clear red vinyl. I must have worn it out. I cleaned out my parents house last Fall and didn't see that or a similar record of Peter and the Wolf.

Richard

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It was different from most of my other records, it was clear red vinyl.

:wink: One of my favorite records was a red vinyl 45 -- it was the young Tagliavini singing "E la solita storia."

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The parts of Swan Lake I like best are apparantly not by Tchaikovsky. I ADMIRE Sleeping Beauty more, but we all have our little memory triggers, and SL reminds me of a childhood evening in Central Park (Act II pas de deux, Markova and Dolin).

My real favorite in childhood was, for some reason, Pavane for a Dead Princess (a 45, too), played repeatedly and choreographed in my head. Decades later I saw a ballet made to that score (can't remember what) and was extremely disappointed. Very dull.

p.s. Whatever happened to 45s? It was a lovely format.

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Balanchine choreographed the Pavane as a solo for Patricia McBride -- or rather, a duet for McBride and a long, white scarf -- for the Ravel Festival. Kyra Nichols has also danced it. At some point, the Joffrey had a different version. I saw it once but don't remember a thing about it.

Mel?

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And isn't absolutely amazing how much dance has to contend with this issue?  I mean, do we look at "Pride and Prejudice" and have to ask so much about textual authenticity?  Not a few words or a typo, but entire chapters . . .

Leigh,

William Shakespeare

As it is with the greatest composer(IMO), so it is with the greatest author, only 100 times worse. Becuase none of Shakespeare's scripts ever survived(that we now of) we are left to trust the memory of two actors when the plays were compiled from the quartos to the folio. Talk about an editors nightmare.

BTW, I voted for all. How can you choose?

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How could there be only 1 vote for Nut? It's full of the most glorious melodies in the history of Western Music and is by far the most popular ballet.

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How could there be only 1 vote for Nut?  It's full of the most glorious melodies in the history of Western Music

I agree, the Pas de deux: Intrada, makes me cry everytime I hear it, so for me it's an emotional favorite, the vote for Nutcracker is mine :dry: .

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It's hard to pick one over the other's, but I chose The Nutcracker. It's more of an emotional pick than anything. That music reaches the childlike, happy, safe place in my soul that darkness and outside influences can't harm. Not to say that there isn't pathos in the music. it's there alright, but so is hope and innocense. You could probably say the same thing for The Sleeping Beauty, but as I said it's a personal thing.

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I chose "all," although I have to agree with Alexandra's comment about Nutcracker. Because every holiday season of my life has been inundated with Nutcracker music, it is very difficult for me to hear it and appreciate it. I've often wondered what it would be like to hear the score for the first time, since by now I know it so well the novelty is lost. The only parts that still move me are the snow scene and the adagio of the grand pas. Wouldn't it be interesting to be hypnotised to forget all the music, so that you could hear it all for the first time? That would be quite an experiment!

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Wouldn't it be interesting to be hypnotised to forget all the music, so that you could hear it all for the first time?  That would be quite an experiment!

That's a great point, brivagook. I wonder how much music would seem better, if we hadn't heard it that extra time that put us over the brink.

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I would love to be hypnotized to forget certain parts of the Nutcracker...most of it makes me twitch. :dry:

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Ah, Hans, if you had only seen the Trocaderos "Nutcracker." The tree couldn't grow, so they shrunk the ceiling (it was in an about-to-be-condemned NY downtown theater in the late '70s). Papa S got a Daddy Christmas tie. I think Mama S got a toaster, but wouldn't swear to it. They always get to the heart of the things that really matter :dry:

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What I wouldn't give to see that! I finally got to see the Trocks in Baltimore last year and loved it.

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I picked SB because its superior to the other two. As far as ballet music goes, its the score of scores. Every time I listen to it, I know there is a God. Yet, each his ballets are peerless. SB, SL & Nutcracker are, like all of Mozart's operas, stand alone masterpieces. Like Mozart, each ballet is totally unique & the musical ideas are totally different, yet written by the same man. Therein lies the genius of both composers.

SL is the ultimate in lyricism. In 1877, SL was a major breakthrough

for ballet music, because this was arguably the first ballet score that could stand alone in the concert hall. It was music that was symphonic and on a par with the opera. IMO it's probably the most Wagnerian work he ever wrote. In SB he created a complete fairy tale kingdom, royalty, fairydom, tradition, pomp & circumstance. At the end of the Apotheose, you can almost see the storybook closing. With Nutcracker he takes you to that place of virtue and innocence, that's rare today.

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I could live without the Nutcracker (too saccharine) but I love Sleeping Beauty. Then music that isn't even named in the poll popped into my mind. Thinking about Serenade & Suites # 1 &3 almost forced me to cast my vote for "can't choose". But then I decided to try the desert island test and found out that I can choose. If I could only have 1 piece of music to listen to for the rest of my life it would be Swan Lake - no contest. So I voted for it.

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I didn't put "Serenade" or any of the other pieces of music that Tchaikovsky wrote that people have used for ballets, but limited the poll to the scores he actually composed for ballet. Just in case someone was wondering :blink:

Keep voting!!!

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