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Tchaikovsky's involvment in stage production

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How much is known about Tchaikovsky's involvment in the stage production of Swan Lake and The Nutcracker.

On the one hand I can imagine that he might have written the musical scores in isolation after being informed of the storyline... and then the choreographer and dancers took it from there. In contrast to that thought I can also imagine Tchaikovsky being on the scene every day making adjustments to the musical score as he worked with the choreograper to refine the integration of action and music.

So does anyone have an idea of how this process was played out when these masterpieces were first created?

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We happen to have something about that back on the Ballet Alert! main page! Tchaikovsky was very involved in Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty production, but the 1877 version of Swan Lake was written almost in a vacuum, with the composer unaware of what it takes to make a good ballet score, hence the nearly hour-long original Act I and the barely twenty-minute Act IV. He was consulted about revising the score for a revival of the work by Petipa, but died before the work could be done, so Riccardo Drigo furnished the 1895 edition of the score. For more detail, see:


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Yes, I understand. Everything is good.

If I start wondering about something that is going on here on this site... you know me, I will just ask about it. Right now I have a very comfortable feeling about everything.

Rerouting and book referrals are important, they give a person a chance to go much deeper into the subject... not only the one who posted the question, but also the ones who read the thread as well. It enriches the whole process. Its good, very good.

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