Solor

Puzzled about Paris Opera's Bayadere

17 posts in this topic

OK so I FINALLY got a hold of the DVD of Nureyev's production of Bayadere (I Love EBay). It was great!...it was just like the Soviet production apart from Nureyevs very few choreographic changes. I thought that it was odd that he had left it pretty much unchagned, maybe because his illness held him back.....I love how he dressed up the classics. Anyway I was wondering if Im the only one that noticed, but the music is said in the credits to have been arranged by John Lanchbery....the music is EXACTLY like the original Minkus arrangments....Ive never sat down and studied the score but Ive seen the ballet enough times on film and in life (not the Kirovs newest version yet though) to know. The only difference I could point out was the slightly different harp arpeggios before the Shades scene, a minor change at the beginning of the shades waltz, and the extended ending of the ballets final number...other than that it was exactly the same as the original music and sounded NOTHING like a revision. I have two recordings of Lanhcbery's version of the music, one by Richard Bonynge (complete in Makarova's version) and another of just the shades scene conducted by Lanchbery himself (from Nureyevs staging of the scene by itself). For the sake of argument Lanchbery could have done a different job for Nureyev than Makarova, but I know the music well enough to know it was exactly the same as the original Minkus orchestrations. Does anyone know whats up with that?

Maybe this thread should go in the music section......but I figured since its more stuff to talk about as far as the history of Bayadere goes I should put it in here.

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hi solor. i don't remember in detail, but i do know that lanchbery, in an intermission interview when abt broadcast makarova's 'bayadere' in 1980, spoke at some length about different "tweakings" to the score. maybe you know someone who has this tape?

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These are two different arrangements. Nureyev didn't want Lanchbery to have his way with the score and make his own version as had happened for Makarova's production. That's all.

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being NO music expert here i can but relate a few observations made by others, more knowledgeable in this area.

one friend described the flourishes lanchbery has added to the bayakerka scarf duet as sounding like 'tea dance' music.

clement crisp once described the 'tweakings' by lanchbery in his 19th century scorework as 'gratuitous burblings'

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The late Viktor Fedotov, one of the most distinguished ballet conductors from the Maryinsky, used to describe Lanchbery's treatment of the Minkus scores for La Bayadère and Don Quixote as "criminal".

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I must disagrre with that Marc....I thought that Lanchbery's arrangements for Don Q (I have the whole thing on CD) are FABULOUS. He really made the music sound much better I thought. As far as La Bayadere goes, there are parts he should have left alone and parts he really improved, particularly those drum rolls at the ends of variations...THIER GREAT!...but despite my own tastes, he did a great job.

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One of the big problems with the Don Q (you're welcome;) ) score comes in the last act, where Minkus apparently left gaps for inclusion of other numbers from other ballets in the manner we see today in the various "Paquita" grands pas that are about. He also didn't leave a finale! Apparently, Petipa wanted the overture reprised, and the Don and Sancho disappear after Dulcinea to it, as a general dance breaks out among the townspeople.

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About the unchanged version, I've heard once it's because he wanted it like that: he really wanted to recreate the original Petipa version, which was similar to the Kirov one. It's what he did at POB for other ballets (Sleeping Beauty, Nutcraker, Swan lake....)!

And this is one great thing, we can see Russian soloist with POB when La Bayadère is performed in France, because the variations are quite the same (for season 2001-2002, Nicolas Tsiskaridze, as well as Svetlana Zakharova)

About the Makharova production, Nureev was considering it as a betrayal to the Kirov version because she changed lots of parts (golden idol variation was replaced by another one, she used some music arrangements, no fast part in the snake variation....)

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i wonder if there is some way to get through to the discussions that doubtless took place when the kirov recently presented in nyc its new 'old' version of LA BAYADERE, which in many ways 'corrected' any number of elements that nureyev's generation thought sacrosanct.

but regarding the bronze idol in the choreography nikolai zubkovsky created in 1948(?) makarova didn't really change it or its music, she simply moved it from the betrothal scene to the final wedding scene that she put together to conclude her production. (in fact this non-petipa dance was initially included in the kirov's 'reconstructed' 1900 production and then dropped again as it was from a much later era.)

as i say there may be a way to go back and read much of what was said on balletalert about the most recent kirov reconstruction after some historical documents in archives both inside and outside russia.

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[snip] There IS no original orchestration of La Bayadere. The "original" you seem to be talking about is just two violin parts: one for the tune and one for the accompaniment. Lanchberry is the first person who successfully tacked together the remainder of the lost bayadere scores. He has, in some way or another, orchestrated almost every single piece of La Bayadere that there is. Not many Minkus scores have been kept intact.

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Those two parts you're talking about are called "lead sheets", and are frequently the only things people have to reconstruct certain scores from. Try early Cole Porter sometimes, if you want an arranging challenge.

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Those two parts you're talking about are called "lead sheets", and are frequently the only things people have to reconstruct certain scores from.  Try early Cole Porter sometimes, if you want an arranging challenge.

Thats what I meant - that's all that's left of the "originals".

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The Mariinsky has the original Minkus orchestration. Harvard has the Shades scene orchestration plus a little bit more in a score copied out in Riga. Roland John Wiley discusses the Bayadere score a little in the intro to "Tchaikovsky's Ballets." The two-violin score is the repetiteur used for rehearsal.

Lanchbery's arrangement of Don Q has been referred to as "Kitri goes salsa-regaae."

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After seeing doug's lecture/demo at the PNB studios a few weeks ago, I started hunting up more information. One thing I found was the recently revised article on wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Bayad%C3%A8re

which seems to answer a lot of the questions in this old thread. Of course, I have no idea how accurate this article may be - wikis, like the web in general, are very caveat emptor places. I can't find an author (don't know wikipedia very well); for all I know doug may have written and/or contributed to it!

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one choreographic difference i note, and don't understand, is that in the Shades scene, Nureyev has the dancers step back from arabesque with only the upstage arm going to high fifth -- all other productions I know take both arms en couronne for the cambre....

TONIGHT, I've just seen the Kirov do Shades in Berkeley without a ramp (the stage is shallow), and each new dancer ENTERS in a pose croisee derriere with both arms en couronne and then steps forward into arabesque a terre. I've never seen this before, and though I liked the idea that it suggested that Nikiya had forgiven Solor, on the whole I did NOT like it -- the whole obsessive sequence should be that snippet of her dance with the basket of flowers, and it needs to have the eyes downcast to begin, somehow, it feels emotionally VERY wrong to start with the hopeful glance, the feeling tone seems wong -- I realize this is arguing connoisseur-style, and that's very suspect -- does anyone -- DOUG, do you know? -- know where the phrase should begin?

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Paul, I noticed the same thing both times I saw the Mariinsky do this live, but I didn't think it had always been this way...and sure enough on the 1977 DVD with Terekhova and Komleva, the shades do not pose in the way you describe. It is too dark to see whether the first shade does, but the rest definitely do not. Perhaps it is something they found in the notation when they went to do the reconstruction?

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. . . and though I liked the idea that it suggested that Nikiya had forgiven Solor. . .
That depends on whether we are watching the actual Nikiya or Solor's imagining of her. If he's imagining her, then of course she forgives him! :clapping:

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