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Subject: "Constant Lambert" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Tomoko.A

07-01-01, 05:02 PM (GMT)
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"Constant Lambert"
 
   I noticed in today's Culture section in the Sunday Times that a CD of ballet music by Lambert is introduced. The CD features "Romeo & Juliet" and "Pomona", one-act Nijinska ballet, played by State Orchestra of Victoria and conducted by John Lanchbery. This CD is highly recommended and I've got curious to find out about these two pieces. Does anyone know about this R&J and "Pomona" ?


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Constant Lambert Jim 07-01-01 1
     RE: Constant Lambert Richard J 07-01-01 2
         RE: Constant Lambert Michael 07-01-01 3
  RE: Constant Lambert Jim 08-01-01 4
     RE: Constant Lambert Tomoko.A 08-01-01 5
         RE: Constant Lambert Jim 08-01-01 6

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Jim

07-01-01, 05:24 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Constant Lambert"
In response to message #0
 
   Constant Lambert (who, incidentally, is alleged to have been Margot Fonteyn's "true love") composed Pomona in 1926. He had met Nijinska while he was working with Serge Diaghilev and she staged the ballet in Buenos Aires in 1927. Ashton later made a version of it which is reported to have been rather "synthetic", though Beatrice Appleyard in the title role
apparently had rave reviews.

It was Diaghilev that invited Lambert to compose a score for Romeo and Juliette (note spelling) and this was played in Paris and London but Lambert was only 21 and apparently it wasn't very good and was a flop.

I would imagine that the CD is of academic or historical interest and I can't think why it is "highly recommended". But this has prompted my curiosity and I will try to get a copy myself.


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Richard J

07-01-01, 07:20 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Constant Lambert"
In response to message #1
 
   According to Arnold Haskell (leading British ballet writer of the time), Ashton's "Pomona" (Cambridge Theatre 1930) launched the Camargo Society (of which Haskell was co-founder). Haskell commented that it was "definitely flippant, stylised Olympian, in a late Diaghilev vein, but it revealed the gift of being able to present his dancers to their very best advantage".

I don't know the music for "Pomona", but judging from other better known bits of Lambert's music (e.g. "Rio Grande"), I could imagine that the music would fit the bill; Lambert was known for his clever wit.


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Michael

07-01-01, 11:00 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Constant Lambert"
In response to message #2
 
   I would heartily recommend anything by Lambert - try his Horoscope and Tiresias if you can find them, and his arrangements of Liszt for Dante Sonata and Apparitions


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Jim

08-01-01, 03:13 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Constant Lambert"
In response to message #0
 
   I've just bought it! I'm playing it now on the computer in my office! It sounds very nice and I'll give a full report tonight when I've heard it all. In addition to Pomona and R&J it has the overture to The Bird Actors.


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Tomoko.A

08-01-01, 09:01 PM (GMT)
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5. "RE: Constant Lambert"
In response to message #4
 
   Thank you all for the useful info. You are so knowledgeable ! I'll definitely get a copy myself. Jim, I'm looknig forward to your report.


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Jim

08-01-01, 10:12 PM (GMT)
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6. "RE: Constant Lambert"
In response to message #5
 
   There are eight elements to the ballet, and I quote verbatim from the notes accompanying the CD (Chandos label CHAN 9865 14.99):
Intrata: Pomona, Godess of fuits, and her nymphs are in an orchard in a wood near Rome.
Corante: The sound of a hunting horn is heard. The god Vertumnus enters with his entourage of immortals in hunting attire. He makes advances to Pomona but she is frightened and runs into the wood with her nymphs. Vertumnus shows pique in a dance but vows to return.
Pastorale: Pomona returns timidly, feeling isolated.
Menuetto: The nymphs come back and welcome the reappearance of the immortals, no longer in hunting gear. Gradually they go off with partners and Pomona watches as she is left alone.
Passacaglia: Vertumnus comes back disguised as an older woman. He (she) successfully comforts Pomona and they leave together.
Rigadoon: A divertissement for the nymphs and the immortals.
Siciliana: Vertumnus, no longer disguised, comes back with Pomona and their dance now expresses their love for each other.
Marcia: The joyous return of the nymphs and immortals leads to a nuptial dance, prcession and benediction.

I found the scores on this CD pleasant rather than earth-shattering. I kept thinking to myself "where have I heard this before" and then put it down to a very strong influence of Stravinsky (seems logical, having worked with Diaghilev's Ballets Russes) and Prokoviev. I thought I heard strains of Petroushka here and there. But even when I'd pinned that down there was still something elusively familiar about it, then it hit me. The rythems bear a striking resemblance, I thought, to those of Philip Feeny, composer of the music for Cinderella and Hunchback of Notre Dame staged by Northern Ballet Theatre.


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