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good as Tchaikovsky?


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#1 ronny

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Posted 04 March 2002 - 07:33 AM

Have you ever heard a ballet score or dance score that in your ear would rival the best of Tchaikovsky? This question is a focus on the musical score rather than the skill of the dancers.

Has this thought ever come to you... "gee, this is as good as Tchaikovsky!"

#2 Melissa

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Posted 04 March 2002 - 09:35 AM

In my opinion, 'Swan Lake', 'Sleeping Beauty' and 'The Nutcracker' are the greatest ballet scores ever written. The next best score would be 'The Firebird'.

#3 Juliet

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Posted 04 March 2002 - 12:41 PM

1. Tchaikovsky

2. Delibes

(with an abiding soft spot in my heart for Prokofiev's R & J score.)

#4 Melissa

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Posted 04 March 2002 - 01:03 PM

Thanks for the reminder about R&J, Juliet. How could I forget Prokofiev? R&J is a masterpiece and 'Cinderella', though not in the same league as R&J and the Tchaikovsky scores, is very beautiful.

#5 Manhattnik

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Posted 04 March 2002 - 01:59 PM

There's a lot of great music that has been used for ballets, but that's different from music designated from the start as "ballet music."

It really is hard to come up with someone to rival Tchaikovsky. Delibes works are indeed beautiful, but rather shallow in comparison. Prokofiev certainly comes close. I'd put in a vote for Glazunov, just on the strength of the glorious parts of Raymonda.

I would also put Stravinsky's Apollo up there. Did he write Agon as a ballet score?

#6 Calliope

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Posted 04 March 2002 - 02:23 PM

Was La Fille a ballet score?
and I forgot, Coppelia

[ March 04, 2002, 03:29 PM: Message edited by: Calliope ]

#7 Estelle

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Posted 04 March 2002 - 06:44 PM

I think that "Agon" was commissionned especially by the NYCB as a ballet score (and on the CDs of it, it's often written "Agon, ballet for twelve dancers").

It might seem a bit curious now, but Tchaikovsky himself admired Delibes' scores quite a lot (I don't remember if it was "Coppelia" or "Sylvia" that he considered as superior to his own "Swan Lake"...)

It is not very well known, but I do love Edouard Lalo's "Namouna" (used later by Lifar for is "Suite en blanc"). Henri Sauguet's "Les Forains" (for Roland Petit) is really cute.

Among the Stravinsky works composed for ballet, there's also "Petrouchka" and "The rite of spring"...

About "La Fille mal gardee": it seems to me that the score which is used today has changed quite a lot from the the original version (and is by several composers).

#8 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 04 March 2002 - 07:16 PM

I'd put Hindemith's score for The Four Temperaments up there as one of the best of the 20th century.

#9 Alexandra

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Posted 04 March 2002 - 08:05 PM

I'd vote for Delibes, and add Glazunov (I adore "Raymonda") and the Danish composer J.P.E. Hartmann (part of "Folk Tale," "The Lay of Thrym," "The Valkyrie" and several others).

#10 ronny

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Posted 05 March 2002 - 07:54 AM

I heard a small section from the old movie "the little humpbacked horse" and was impressed with the music that I heard. Is the complete score very good?

#11 Tancos

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Posted 05 March 2002 - 02:40 PM

I have yet to hear a 19th-Century ballet score comparable to any of Tchaikovsky's. One of the tragedies of the 19th Century was that no one bothered to commission ballet scores from any of the outstanding composers before Petr T. Instead of Brahms, Berlioz, Liszt or Schumann, there was Minkus or worse, and most 19th-Century ballet music is something you endure, not enjoy.

Having said that, I will note that I prefer "Coppelia" to "Swan Lake," but this reflects overexposure to the latter when I was young, not the relative merits of the scores.

It's much easier to find superior ballet music in the 20th Century, and I think we can thank Diaghilev for that. Most outstanding composers of the past 100 years have written music for dance, and much of it is good. To the names mentioned above I would add Debussy ("Faune" and maybe "Jeux" -- I haven't heard the latter in a while), Ravel ("Daphnis and Chloe") and Bartok ("The Miraculous Mandarin" -- a *long* way from Tchaikovsky and not for everybody, but spellbinding nevertheless).

#12 Ed Waffle

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Posted 05 March 2002 - 05:17 PM

The Paris Opera commissioned ballet scores from every opera composer who wanted to write for its stage--which is all of them, since Paris was the center of the operatic universe at that time. Grand Opera, as produced at the Opera, had a ballet.

Wagner wrote the dance music for Tannhauser specifically for Paris. Hundreds of pages of "French" ballet music flowed from the pen of Verdi, some routine "oompah band" accompaniment, others as good as anything he wrote--"Otello", "Il trovatore", "Jerusalem", a revsion of "I Lombardi". The ballet music from "Aida" (not for the Paris Opera) has a life of its own. Little of this music is well known in the United States or Italy, since the recordings and productions of these scores are generally of the seemingly more "official" Italian version, which do not include the ballet.

Berloiz added ballet music to "Der Frieschutz" by von Weber when it was revised as a grand opera for Paris.

Giacomo Meyerbeer, no longer everyone's idea of a great 19th century composer, wrote grand opera that was the toast of Paris. The skaters ballet in Le Prophete" the gypsy dance in "Le Huguenotes" and the nuns ballet in "Robert le diable" influenced composers for decades to come.

The Opera Comique also in Paris but a much different institution, had its own conventions regarding dance for the lyric stage. "Carmen" is the most famous work from that genre from the 19th century and is full of dance music, although choral writing was more typical than ballet for crowd scenes.

[ March 05, 2002, 05:20 PM: Message edited by: Ed Waffle ]

#13 Estelle

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Posted 05 March 2002 - 06:16 PM

quote:


Originally posted by Tancos:

To the names mentioned above I would add Debussy ("Faune" and maybe "Jeux" -- I haven't heard the latter in a while), Ravel ("Daphnis and Chloe") and Bartok ("The Miraculous Mandarin" -- a *long* way from Tchaikovsky and not for everybody, but spellbinding nevertheless).

How could I have forgotten "Daphnis et Chloé"... Also, among Ravel's work, "Bolero" was composed as a ballet for Ida Rubinstein, and if I remember correctly "Ma mère l'Oye" (I love it) and "La Valse" were planned to be ballets.

Ed, probably there still is a statue of Meyerbeer somewhere on the facade of the Opéra Garnier... In hugh school, I remember studying a short story by Balzac which mentioned the ballet of nuns from "Robert le Diable".

#14 Juliet

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Posted 06 March 2002 - 09:53 AM

Talk about getting hung up on your costume.......


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