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Paquita – recordings using the original instrumentation?

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I have a number of CDs and DVD where parts/complete? of Deldevez/Minkus’ music to Paquita is recorded. However, and now for the tricky part – I just feel that all available recordings are made using an orchestration that just appears too 'modern' in my ears - to me it just never sounds like an 1846/1881-instrumentation, but more like newer re-arrangements, say, made around 1915 and later.

In my collection, I also have a very short - 35 seconds - video-sequence where it appears like a different score was used, and although performed by a quite large orchestra, it sounds more like a 19th-century instrumentation then on any of the available recordings!

I recently had a chance to ask one of the dancers whom appeared in the video about the music, but she could only tell that the music that was used for the recorded performance was from a tape in the possession of the company (in Ukraine), so it seems difficult to obtain any more specific information.

Anybody that can share some information with regard to recordings of what with certainty is the original 1846/1881-instrumentation?

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I"m afraid I can only reply to stress my ignorance on such matters. There are likely a few BT members who could offer more informed thoughts on the musical subject you bring up. As I recall a number of thoughts have been aired on this site about 20th century-sounding orchestrations of 19th century ballet compositions. I hope someone will be able to shed some light on this question for you.

As a matter of course, post-Imperial Russian ballet had any number of its 19th c. scores reorchestrated in Soviet times. Pugni's ESMERALDA is one case in point; but a number of Minkus ballets were likewise 're-visited' by Soviet musicial 'editors'. Elizabeth Souritz's SOVIET CHOREOGRAPHY IN THE 1920s discusses this in passing more than once in her study of the early Soviet era.

Nikita Dolgushin made a point of going to back some early choreographic sources, especially those he could glean from the past of Yelizaveta Gerdt, when he staged the Grand Pas Classique from PAQUITA for his Maly Theater staging in the late 1970s, but I don't know if his research specifically sought out reliable, 19th century 'original' orchestrations.

Sorry this isn't more helpful.

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