Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes changed the history of ballet and the history of music too. Stravinsky composed all of his early landmark ballet scores for Diaghilev’s company, including Petrushka. It’s all energy, lyricism, playfulness and pathos, wrapped up in kaleidoscopic orchestral colours; it doesn’t take much imagination to see Petrushka and the Ballerina in their fairground tale of love and jealousy. Romantic pursuit lies at the heart of de Falla’s El sombrero de tres picos also: the miller’s attractive young wife is being pursued by the pompous old magistrate, whose amorous designs are eventually undone, to music of ravishing beauty and fiery rhythms. The ballet from Borodin’s opera Prince Igor was one of the Ballets Russes’ first great successes; the treasure-chest of memorable melodies in these Polovtsian Dances makes for a dynamic curtain-raiser.
BORODIN Prince Igor: Polovtsian Dances
FALLA El sombrero de tres picos (The Three-Cornered Hat) – Suite (selections)
STRAVINSKY Petrushka (1947)
Eduardo Strausser conductor
Duration: approx. 2 hours (including interval)