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Music of "The Concert"?


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Yesterday I watched Robbins' "The Concert" in Stuttgart - and although they have really good and informative brochures, I missed any information about the music, apart from that it is Chopin. So I was left sitting in the auditorium trying to figure out the various hints and quotes, but not very successfully, I am afraid.

If anyone could help me here, I'd be very glad!

(This was part of an interesting Triple Bill, starting with Symphony in C and Pierrot Lunaire - will try to post a review when I find some time! - Just one note: Lucky Londoners to get Robert Tewsley at the Royal - I found his Pierrot outstanding...!!!)

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Sonja, there is a web page about "The Concert" on the site of the New York City Ballet:

http://www.nycballet.com/about/rep_concert.html

It lists the musical pieces:

Music: Polonaise "Militaire"; Berceuse, Op. 57; Prelude Op. 28, No.

18; Prelude Op. 28, No. 16; Waltz in E Minor (Posth.); Prelude Op. 28,

No. 7; Prelude Op. 28, No. 4; Mazurka in G Major (Posth.); Ballade

Op. 47, No. 3, by Frédéric Chopin

If you need some more detailed information, I can hav a look at the POB program notes (I don't have them here but can check them when I'm back home).

Now I'm looking forward to reading your review of that program! :)

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Nancy Reynolds' REPERTORY IN REVIEW also includes a detailed listing of all the pieces in THE CONCERT and in every other work performed at the City Ballet. With its historic reviews, cast lists, and photographs, the book is well worth buying by any fan of Robbins and Balanchine

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I agree about Nancy Reynolds' wonderful book. But it's a pity there is no updated version? Also, how easy is it to find it now? The copy I have is a gift from a friend (who had bought it long ago) but I remember reading that it was hard to find now...

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Repertory in Review is, alas, out of print, though copies are available through many dealers in used books (including those affiliated with amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com). The price, however, is steep, ranging from $100 for a copy in "fair" condition to $250 for a copy in mint condition.

For the less affluent balletomane, I suspect that most larger libraries have it available for free.

In addition, the New York City Ballet website (nycballet.com) includes brief notes on the entire repertory. The notes are not as extensive as those in Reynolds' book, though they always include credits for music, choreography, date and place of premiere, and original cast. Almost all of them include notes on the music, including a brief biography of the composer and, in some cases, music clips payable with Real Audio. Many also include a brief description of the dance. (The people who think Peter Martins' ballets look better on paper than on stage will say "I told you so.") Annoyingly, there are no descriptions of any Robbins ballets -- obviously at the choreographer's request.

As for a Reynolds update.... I'd love to see one, too, but it's difficult to argue that the post-Balanchine repertory merits the same lavishly detailed attention that the NYCB received in her 1977 volume. A dedicated historian, she included even such turkeys as "PAMTGG" in the book. They were obviously eclipsed by the masterpieces. In the last 25 years, the proportion of "forgettable" to "memorable" has inevitably changed, as the task of creating new works has passed to lesser -- or at least, less seasoned -- hands.

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Originally posted by Morris Neighbor

For the less affluent balletomane, I suspect that most larger libraries have it available for free.  

Well, perhaps for American libraries, but for French or German (Sylvia is from Germany) ones, I'm afraid it's quite unlikely...

As for a Reynolds update.... I'd love to see one, too, but it's difficult to argue that the post-Balanchine repertory merits the same lavishly detailed attention that the NYCB received in her 1977 volume. A dedicated historian, she included even such turkeys as "PAMTGG" in the book. They were obviously eclipsed by the masterpieces. In the last 25 years, the proportion of "forgettable" to "memorable" has inevitably changed, as the task of creating new works has passed to lesser -- or at least, less seasoned -- hands.

I think that at least, an update which would include the period between 1977 and Balanchine's death would be interesting.

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fyi: undating and/or reprinting 'repertory in review'- the prospects are not good. the book is rich with excerpted reviews from other published sources of the productions discussed in the entries, and, according to those close to the book's first printing, the rights for the numerous reprints were granted for the one printing only, and obtaining them again for further printings etc. is an almost unrepeatable task. so for now it looks as if the copies out there are the only copies we're likely to have.

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Well, perhaps for American libraries, but for French or German (Sylvia is from Germany) ones,I'm afraid it's quite unlikely

Thank you, Estelle, for reminding me that here in America we have an exceptional civic asset in our public libraries. And the recently re-built Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center is an even more wonderful resource, regrettably limited to those who can make it to New York.

There is one additional book I failed to mention, Choreography by Balanchine: A Catalogue of Works, a comprehensive catalogue raisonnee of the master's work. The listings are less detailed than Reynolds, but they include every public presentation of ballets under Mr. B's supervision.

I think that at least, an update which would include the period between 1977 and Balanchine's death

Well, this is only six years -- a much more modest scale than Reynolds' 40-year survey. And as "rg" has pointed out, the original required an enormous amount of paperwork. On the other hand, I personally heard Barbara Horgan, administrator of the Balanchine Trust, explain that the wonderful Balanchine shows from PBS would never make it to home video because resolving all the copyright and union problems made it a losing proposition. Nonetheless, the videos, on the Nonesuch label, are available in most larger video stores and the usual online sources.

So we can live in hope that an oddball entrepreneur will look to our needs.

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