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New York City Ballet in Montreal, vols. 1-5


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Nice. Seeing early versions of Ivesiana and The 4 T's will definitely be exciting.

Liebeslieder may still appear in a Vol. 5. I myself wish there had been a broadcast of Episodes...

I updated my list today. Aside from Liebeslieder, there is still an unreleased color program (Apollo/Concerto Barocco/Glinkiana) plus a bunch of smaller things over the years, including a Chaconne and a Who Cares? with the original cast. Based on stuff people have mentioned over the years with regard to other Balanchine recordings, I'm wondering whether the more recent recordings may be held up as VAI negotiate with the performers still living for its inclusion.

Overall, CBC seems to have been better about retaining its tapes than the BBC, but who knows what they still have left. Then again, someone did find a uncut copy of The Passion of Joan Arc in an insane asylum, so we can hope...

PS: There is a German recording of Episodes. Movements 3 (w Kent) and 4 (w Estopinal) was up on Youtube for a while, but the camera angles made it as unwatchable as I remembered.

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PS: There is a German recording of Episodes. Movements 3 (w Kent) and 4 (w Estopinal) was up on Youtube for a while, but the camera angles made it as unwatchable as I remembered.

I've seen it recently -- it's not unwatchable so much as the camera angles and the editing turn it into a different ballet. Fascinating, but not CB as we know it.

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Episodes Movement 3 and Movement 4 (Bach Ricercata) are on YouTube. In spite of the poor video quality, Kent and Cook in Movement 3 are astonishing to watch.

Here are the links:

Thanks for the links DB - it's a shame the video quality is so bad (perhaps beyond digitial cleanup capabilities). But it is still fun to watch. For those who still haven't seen it: the Suzanne Farrell Ballet does a couple of excerpts form Episodes (in HD) and the video stream is still available online:

http://www.kennedy-center.org/explorer/videos/?id=M5627

[starts at about the 10:00 mark]

Looking at the YouTube video now, I'm realizing this is from that same German TV series that had Concerto Barocco, and I believe other works (?), so there must be a better copy in the hands of the German broadcast company. To quote RG on this forum:

some 15 ballets were filmed by a german tv team in '73 in berlin, the problem, as it's now told by b.horgan, balanchine's assistant, was that balanchine wasn't allowed to direct or have any special say about the filming, so the results are overall a mess of busy cuts and odd angles. apparently g.b. hated the results and wanted nearly none of the results shown. the SYM IN C was shown a few times as was LIEBESLIEDER WALZER & STARS AND STRIPES. european tv has shown the BAISER, LA VALSE, DUO CONCERTANTE, SERENADE, TARANTELLA, EPISODES, CONCERTO BAROCCO and perhaps a few more. (european readers will be able to say more.) i suppose someday, b/c the films document balanchine's late company of dancers these films might be unearthed for historical purposes, tho' not likely, it would seem, while the current powers-that-be are in charge of the balanchine trust, etc.
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... For those who still haven't seen it: the Suzanne Farrell Ballet does a couple of excerpts form Episodes (in HD) and the video stream is still available online:

http://www.kennedy-center.org/explorer/videos/?id=M5627

[starts at about the 10:00 mark]

For those whose main interest in the series of videos we're talking about is in seeing authentic performances of Balanchine's ballets, pherank's link is particularly apt. Having watched hundreds of performances of NYCB in the last decade of Balanchine's supervision of it, along with others I recognize in TSFB's performances virtues of authentic qualities in Balanchine performance which are harder and harder to find on stage. For those of us whose taste runs in this direction, then, these videos - the VAI DVD series and the Millennium Stage archived previews - are really something.

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I received Vol.4 today. The video quality for the Nov.1, 1964 performances (The Four Temperaments and Ivesiana) is very good, including some nifty camera-work. The video quality for the 1955 Afternoon of a Faun is not so good. In addition to getting to see some great dancers there is a 3 minute introduction to the 1964 performance in which Mr. B. introduces his dancers and does a little moving himself. Seeing Ivesiana makes me wonder if there is a video out there of the Schoenberg Op.34, also choreographed in 1954?

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Seeing Ivesiana makes me wonder if there is a video out there of the Schoenberg Op.34, also choreographed in 1954?

Looks like not. Balanchine Foundation's catalogue entry lists no other companies that have staged this work, nor any recordings of it by the company. Jennifer Dunning's NYT article for the Balanchine Celebration (dated 1992) notes that it was lost without any motions at revival. Barbara Millberg's recent biography talks about it in some detail (which makes me wonder if she still remembers the choreography), but as of now there is no video record of it.

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