The Goldberg Variations
Posted 02 April 2002 - 06:16 AM
If I'm correct, this ballet is longer than Dances at a Gathering, which I also adore.
The question for all of you is: The Goldberg Variations, too long or too short?
Posted 02 April 2002 - 06:23 AM
Nothing to do with the choreographic worth of the ballet
Posted 02 April 2002 - 06:57 AM
Posted 02 April 2002 - 07:44 AM
Posted 02 April 2002 - 09:13 AM
Posted 02 April 2002 - 10:14 AM
I'm sure we all have our favorites. In addition to Goldberg, I'd add the perennial leader in this category, Stabat Mater.
Posted 02 April 2002 - 10:18 AM
Posted 02 April 2002 - 10:57 AM
Ballets best experienced from the Starbuck's on Columbus Avenue (or, if it's July, while having a drink at the Adelphi), and...
Ballets best experienced while walking home from Lincoln Center.
Stabat Mater and Oraganon figure prominently in each category, actually.
Posted 02 April 2002 - 11:45 AM
I'll add to the Goldberg being too long.
Posted 02 April 2002 - 01:18 PM
Obviously, one shouldn't take an all or nothing approach and assume that ALL music is inviolable and can't be tinkered with for the purposes of creating an effective ballet. Some works suffer less (or not at all or are even improved) when re-assembled. (Ahem, but not Serenade, IMO.) But there are some that can't be tinkered with, and I'd put Goldberg in that category.
As to Dances at a Gathering: I always like Arlene Croce's assessment, which was that she'd like to see it cut by 15 minutes but not the same 15 minutes every time.
Posted 02 April 2002 - 01:21 PM
I can't imagine anyone thinking Goldberg is too short. But I think it's a better ballet than is indicated here. I find it a very satisfying experience. For the first few seasons, an annoucement used to be made requesting the audience to refrain from applauding until the final curtain. Sometimes applause would break out in the second section no matter. Nowadays applause is heard throughout the piece, growing steadily more tepid, even though the dancing grows steadily more interesting. So I guess Robbins' original instinct to hold the applause was wise.
Posted 02 April 2002 - 03:35 PM
In the late 70s and 80s, it was the kind of ballet that I lost track of time while watching. The same thing would happen when I watched Gelsey perform Giselle.
Maybe that's a new thread. Ballets that make you forget time and place.
Posted 02 April 2002 - 04:25 PM
Posted 02 April 2002 - 05:30 PM
Posted 05 April 2002 - 01:30 AM
Choreographically, I admire Robbins' ability to introduce constant novelty to music created within narrow confines of style. I always feel a sense of melancholy when I hear the final Chaconne -- as I do at the last waltz of "Liebeslieder Walzer," another major audience commitment.
I will concede, however, that people who need a martini every twenty minutes should avoid longer works by Robbins, Balanchine, Bournonville, Petipas, and others.
In short, I don't think it's too long. I think it's precisely long enough to serve the composer's vision, which has always been the rule at City Ballet.
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