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New recordings: Aurora's Wedding with Prologue variations

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Finally a recording with the correct dance tempi of Aurora's Wedding, including ALL of the Prologue Variations.  Recorded by Kevin Galiè, with the Evergreen Symphony Orchestra, assisted by Anna-Marie Holmes, who indicated all of the correct dance tempi.  This follows their successful recordings of Le Corsaire, La Bayadère, Laurencia Pas de Six, and the Paquita Girl's Harp Variation from the ballet Camargo.  Laurencia and Paquita are available as downloads only (cdbaby.com, amazon, etc.) Aurora's Wedding, Le Corsaire and La Bayadère are available as CD's, entire album downloads, or individual tracks on cdbaby, amazon, itunes, etc.  Or at www.kevingalie.com

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Here is a long explanation from Kevin Galiè. I hope it helps!

Bayadère - revision/reconstruction of original parts - difference from Lanchberry

Note: it has been asked that the differences form the Lanchberry version be delineated. The following explanation is intended by no means to be a musicological treatise. I make no apologies or defenses for the work done in my re-orchestration, it simply explains what was done, and is for the user to choose or not choose to use.

1) Lanchberry edition has the 4th Act 'Falling Temple' scene, which was eliminated shortly after the inception of Bayadère both for the reasons that it was technically very complicated in terms of stagecraft to do the falling temple, and the falling temple pieces were ruined in a river flood of the basement of the theatre where the parts were stored.  The 4th Act music is a combination of a) mostly re-hashed music from the earlier acts; b) some music originally composed by Lanchberry as mostly transitional music; c) the Golden Idol has been moved to the 4th Act

2) Lanchberry editions beefeed up the brass and some of the harmonies heavily - nothing wrong with that, but the Galiè re-orchestrations simply try to keep more tot eh spirit of the original orchestration

3.) What the Galiè edition does:

a) Realizing of harp essentially 'continuo' parts -- original manuscripts brought out of Russia by Anna-Marie Holmes show sometimes 'ad libitum' for harp, and other times only the first 1-2 measures for the harpist, then nothing. Performance practice was for each house's harpist to make up their own fill, and own cadenzas as they, or together with the conductor, saw fit

b) Realizing percussion - performance practice, as according to verbal testimony of musicians from ballet orchestras in Bulgaria, Munich, and ones previously affiliated with the Kirov and other Eastern ballet companies, was that the house percussionists, like the harp, would improvise and add percussion based on the style of the music - be it Indian (Bayadère), Spanish, Chinese, Russian, etc.  Scores commonly had only cymbals and bass drums in them as an initial suggestion, and often even had 'ad libitum' written in the manuscripts

c) Orchestra reduction - the Galiè/Anna-Marie Holmes edition makes no pretense of being an historical reconstruction - it is an attempt to make a usable, modern score for a modern ballet orchestra, in the spirit of the original music, recognizing that Minkus was not an A-list composer, and perhaps more, inspiring to the direction of Tchaikovsky. The reduction both in Bayadère and Corsaire follows as a model Stravinsky's own reduction of his Firebird from his 1910 version to his 1945 version, except for the use of the piano.  That is, in Stravinsky's reduction he uses piano in the 1945 version; the Galiè reductions do not use piano, but follow the Stravinsky Firebird orchestra: 1 Picc, 2 FL, Ob I, Ob II/Eng Horn alt, Clar I & II, Fag I & II, 4 Horns, 2 Trumpets, 2 Trombones, 1 Bass Trombone, 1 Tuba, 1 Harp, Percussion, Strings

d) In the Holmes manuscripts - writing, especially in the Violin I parts, often show that more 'exotic' minor harmonies were altered and made to major harmonies in the Soviet era.  These Minor-to-major tonic made all major, and augmented 2nds, in melody lines, showing 'orientalism' were removed. The Galiè version, using signals from the old Violin I concert master part and other parts, attempts some restorations of these minor and exotic harmonies and melodies

e) The Galiè version had access to different Harp cadenzas that the Lanchberry - the source of the Lanchberry is not known, perhaps the scores that Nureyev brought out to the west, which were probably different from the Holmes manuscripts.

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