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Subject: "Music" Archived thread - Read only
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #1315
Reading Topic #1315

06-02-01, 01:30 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Anneliese Click to send private message to Anneliese Click to add this user to your buddy list  
   Some questions that arose in discussion amongst (non-ballet fan) musicians today.
1) What did Minkus do other than write ballets? I had a vague idea that he was of French extraction, and also that his scores were much altered over the years (presumably each time the ballets were revived, the musical director of the day re-wrote or moved or replaced or deleted a bit to suit that season's ballerina). Am I right?

2) Is the music to Madam's "Job" by Vaughan Williams? Did she also choreograph "The Perfect Fool" (Holst?)

3) Are there any ballets to music by Bax?

4) Has anyone ever seen La Boutique Fantasque?

OK, I'll stop now!

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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Music Gerald Dowler 06-02-01 1
     RE: Music jonathanstill50 07-02-01 6
  RE: Music Jane S 06-02-01 2
  RE: Music Robert 06-02-01 3
  More Bax Robert 06-02-01 4
     RE: More Bax Richard J 06-02-01 5
  RE: Music Patricia 07-02-01 7

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Gerald Dowler

06-02-01, 01:54 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Gerald%20Dowler Click to send private message to Gerald%20Dowler Click to add this user to your buddy list  
1. "RE: Music"
In response to message #0
Ludwig Minkus, the ballet composer and violinist, was born in Vienna in 1826.
Minkus made his appearance as a composer in Paris in April, 1846, with Paquita, which was written jointly with Edward Deldevez and choreographed by Joseph Mazilier. La Fiammetta, with choreography by Saint-Leon (February 13, 1864) and Nemea (July 14, 1864)
In 1853 he went to Russia as the conductor of Prince N. B. Yussupov's serf orchestra in St. Petersburg and was a soloist in the Moscow Bolshoi Orchestra from 1861-1872. He also taught at the Moscow Conservatory (1866-1872). He left Russia for Austria, where he died, in 1917, at the age of 91.

A composer of over twenty ballets: Don Quixote, Roxanna, Camargo, Papillons, The Bandits, The Adventures of Peleas, La Bayadčre, The Daughter of the Snows, The Magic Pills, Mlada, Kalkabrino, and Day and Night.

De Valois' Job is by Vaughan Williams

The Perfect Fool is an opera by Holst and there is a ballet to it. No idea about de Valois

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07-02-01, 10:55 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail jonathanstill50 Click to send private message to jonathanstill50 Click to add this user to your buddy list  
6. "RE: Music"
In response to message #1
   LAST EDITED ON 07-02-01 AT 10:56 AM (GMT)

For information on Minkus, and a number of other ballet composers with sparse biographies, I've found this book invaluable:

Schueneman, B.R. (1997) Minor ballet composers : biographical sketches of sixty-six underappreciated yet significant contributors to the body of western ballet music. New York: Haworth Press

also published in Music reference services quarterly. (1997) vol. 5, no. 3/4

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Jane S

06-02-01, 03:51 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Music"
In response to message #0
   3. Ashton's ballet Picnic at Tintagel (made for NYCB) used music by Bax - The Garden of Fand

4. Yes - the SW Royal Ballet used to do it in the 1980s.

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06-02-01, 04:00 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Robert Click to send private message to Robert Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
3. "RE: Music"
In response to message #0
   Arnold Bax wrote the music for the interestingly named ballet; ‘The Truth about the Russian Dancers’ staged by Karsavina and her company in 1920.
I am almost sure he wrote another ballet score for one of the Helpman ballets. He was certainly on Dame Ninette de Valios’s ballet music committee in 1929.

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06-02-01, 05:19 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Robert Click to send private message to Robert Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
4. "More Bax"
In response to message #0
   A few more bits of information on Arnold Bax and Ballet;
He composed a ballet called Tamara, which was never performed.
In 1917 he wrote ‘From Dusk till Dawn’ to be performed by Mrs Lowther.
In 1952 Frederick Ashton did Picnic in Tintagel with sets by Cecil Beaton in New York. It was danced to Bax’s ‘Garden of Fand’ this ballet was performed at The Edinburgh Festival in 1954 by an American Company.
I think I am wrong about Robert Helpman it must have been by Bliss.
Hyperion has recorded some of the mentioned Ballet music.

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Richard J

06-02-01, 09:37 PM (GMT)
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5. "RE: More Bax"
In response to message #4
   More on RVW/Job

The suggestion to make a ballet based on Blake's "Illustrations to the Book of Job" came from Geoffrey Keynes (surgeon, Blake scholar, ballet lover), to celebrate the centenary of Blake's death (he died in 1828). Scenes from Blake's work were selected. (K was helped by his sister-in-law, an artist, who also happened to be RVW's cousin!). RVW was invited to write the music.

The scenario was submitted to Diaghilev, who rejected it (it's interesting that he did adopt a biblical theme at that time, the Prokofiev/Balanchine "Prodigal Son", f.p. May 1929, a few months before D's death).

RVW nevertheless completed the score, which was first performed in a concert version at the Norwich Festival of 1930 (conducted by the composer).

De Valois choreographed the ballet for its first performance at the Cambridge Theatre in 1931, staged by the Camargo Society (which was led by GK's brother, Lord Keynes). The part of Satan was danced by Dolin.

RVW insisted on the sub-title "A Masque for Dancing", which helped to cause much comment. Masques (as in the 17th century) contained speech, song, dance and mime. Although this does not contain speech and song, it was the smart thing to say "but it isn't a ballet" at the time (Arnold Haskell).

It is obviously a very individual work, coming as it does from that particular period for British ballet and music, and owing its inspiration to Blake's pictorial telling of the story of Job.

The music is a great concert piece, from the sweep of the Saraband of the Sons of God to the oily clarinet for Job's comforters, and the cataclysmic sounds when Satan ascends the throne of God. The ending (Job's old age) is beautifully tranquil.

Perhaps its time as a staged work will come again.

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07-02-01, 11:04 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Patricia Click to send private message to Patricia Click to add this user to your buddy list  
7. "RE: Music"
In response to message #0
   Am I imagining it, or did AMP do a version of La Boutique Fantastique? I have a feeling of having seen it on a London
Studio Centre tour a couple of years ago...of course, it may have
been something completely different, given my memory, thats a
distinct possibility!

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