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bronze horseman ballet


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#1 smitty1931

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 05:54 AM

During the LP era I owned a CD of the music to the ballet The Bronze Horseman. It was never reissued on CD. Has anyone seen this ballet? If so, when and where? The bronze horseman is a statue in St Petersberg of Peter the Great pointing to the West. I saw this statue while in St Petersberg and it is very impressive!

#2 leonid17

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 04:27 AM

During the LP era I owned a CD of the music to the ballet The Bronze Horseman. It was never reissued on CD. Has anyone seen this ballet? If so, when and where? The bronze horseman is a statue in St Petersberg of Peter the Great pointing to the West. I saw this statue while in St Petersberg and it is very impressive!


The Bronze Horseman was widely performed across the Soviet Union with new productions into the mid 1960's. The ballet was staged in three acts and 13 scenes together with a Prologue.

Friends of mine saw it performed at the Kirov in the late 1960's. If this ballet is worth re-staging, members of the cast from that era who are still alive, are only in their early seventies.

I also was moved when I saw the statue and the mention of it makes Pushkin's poem come flooding into my mind

There are suites of Gliere's music for this ballet still available in recent recordings.

#3 Mel Johnson

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 08:40 AM

There's a good story about this score. It seems that somebody in authority, I don't know who, very likely the Astronomer Commissar, took a great liking to the final number in it, the "Hymn to a Great City". And it truly is a good hymntune, but he decreed that it should be played in the Central Railway Station whenever the train from Moscow pulled in. Gliere, who was a very modest man and had to make this trip fairly frequently, would get out of the train in Petersburg and hear his music. He would then try to make like a tortoise and pull his head down into his collar as far as it would go, and hurry as best he could out of the station. Poor fellow! :)

#4 leonid17

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 08:42 AM

There's a good story about this score. It seems that somebody in authority, I don't know who, very likely the Astronomer Commissar, took a great liking to the final number in it, the "Hymn to a Great City". And it truly is a good hymntune, but he decreed that it should be played in the Central Railway Station whenever the train from Moscow pulled in. Gliere, who was a very modest man and had to make this trip fairly frequently, would get out of the train in Petersburg and hear his music. He would then try to make like a tortoise and pull his head down into his collar as far as it would go, and hurry as best he could out of the station. Poor fellow! :)


Great story.

#5 rg

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 09:58 AM

here's how the NYPL identifies THE BRONZE HORSEMAN:
<<Bronze horseman: Original title: Mednyi vsadnik. Chor: Rostislav Zakharov; mus: Reinhold Glière; lib: Pyotr Abolimov after the poem by Aleksandr Pushkin; scen: Mikhail Bobyshov. First perf: Leningrad, Kirov Theater, Mar 14, 1949, Kirov Ballet (Company).//First Moscow perf: Bolshoi Theater, June 17, 1949, Bolshoi Ballet (Company)>>

here, some photos from Soviet Russia.

the twosome on the left shows publicity cards for BRONZE HORSEMAN with B. Y. Bregvadze as Evgeny and an undientified dancer as Parasha on the left and G. S. Ulanova as Parasha in the other. (undated)

the middle set shows the same cast, seemingly photographed in June, 1950 with G. N. Kirilova as Parasha and V. D. Ukhov as Evgeny.

the final threesome of postcards shows, left to right:
I. E. Chernichev as Evegeny (1964); Ukhov as Evgeny with a ghostly Kirilova behind him as Parasha (1951); B. Y.Bregvadze as Evgeny (1950).

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#6 leonid17

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 02:53 AM

here's how the NYPL identifies THE BRONZE HORSEMAN:
<<Bronze horseman: Original title: Mednyi vsadnik. Chor: Rostislav Zakharov; mus: Reinhold Glière; lib: Pyotr Abolimov after the poem by Aleksandr Pushkin; scen: Mikhail Bobyshov. First perf: Leningrad, Kirov Theater, Mar 14, 1949, Kirov Ballet (Company).//First Moscow perf: Bolshoi Theater, June 17, 1949, Bolshoi Ballet (Company)>>



RG
The Russian Ballet Encyclopaedia overseen by Yuri Grigorovich gives the Bolshoi premier date as June 27, 1949.

#7 rg

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 05:14 AM

thanks for the alternate date.
the NYPL dance cat. tends to be pretty accurate but it's not infallible.
and keeping on the Bolshoi Ballet aspect of THE BRONZE HORSEMAN, this scan shows Raisa Struchkova as Parasha, which strikes me for the brightness of manner and pose that this undated photo captures.

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#8 bart

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 06:02 AM

Has anyone here seen this ballet in performance? It would be fascinating to learn what it was like. rg's interesting photos -- quite conventional Soviet style images, with the pretty girl, etc. -- bear only the most superficial relationship to Pushkin's poem.

There is, of course, an Evgeny in the poem. He does have a bad time, as photos in the third card suggest. There's also a Parusha, but she who does not appear in the poem. The ending is bleak (for Evgeny) -- nature, poverty and madness destroy him.

They’d found the poor madman of mine
And, for a sake of the Divine,
Buried his corpse in that soil, scanty.

What could a choreographer possibly have found in this story -- other than the Part I glorification of Petersburg itself -- that would satisfy the Soviet cultural administrators?

An English version is here:
http://www.poetrylov...e_horseman.html


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