Swan Lake

Artist: Tchaikovsky
Format: 2CD
Bar-code: 5060294540021
Cat No: M2CD002


Swan Lake was the first of Tchaikovsky’s three great ballets. In 1875, Tchaikovsky received a commission for a full-length ballet from Vladimir Petrovich Begichev, Director of the Imperial Moscow Theatres. The choreography would be by Julius Reisinger, ballet-master at the Bolshoi Theatre, and the subject was to be Swan Lake, a story with its origins in German folk-tales although it has many Russian characteristics.

Tchaikovsky had expressed his admiration for Adam’s ballet Giselle and knew the work of ballet composers such as Delibes, Minkus and Drigo. He found the prospect of writing a ballet score intriguing, and quickly began work. Having obtained the details of the story, he set about writing the music without paying too much attention to Reisinger’s requirements. Somehow, this loose collaboration worked, with Tchaikovsky apparently getting his way when there was a dispute. The composer often expressed his excitement about the project, though his impatience to finish was fuelled by his intention to write another opera. At any event, he completed the huge score within a year.

After much internal politicking at the Bolshoi over who should dance the part of Odette/Odile, Swan Lake received its first performance at the Bolshoi Theatre on 4th March, 1877. It was not a success. Critics hated the production and the choreography and were bemused by Tchaikovsky’s music. To many of them it was too symphonic, too dramatic, not at all the pretty ballet music they were expecting. The conductor, whose prime concern had been to accompany the dancers, had failed to master the complex score, and the orchestral playing was wretched. Tchaikovsky was never to see a satisfactory production of Swan Lake in his lifetime.

Sleeve notes by John Kehoe

SKU: M2CD002
Categories: , , ,

CD 1

1. Introduction (Moderato assai)
Act One, No.1: Scene (Allegro giusto)

2. No.2: Valse

3. No.4:Pas de trios
(a) Intrada (Allegro)
(b) Allegro semplice
(c) Moderato
(d) Allegro
(e) Coda (Allegro vivace)

4. No.7: Sujet
No.8: Danse des Coupes (Tempo di polacca)

5. Act Two, No.10:Scene (Moderato)

6. No.11: Scene (Allegro moderato)
No.12: Scene (Allegro)

7. Danses des Cygnes
No.13a: Tempo di Valse
No.13e: Andante non troppo

CD 2

1. Act Two: No.13d: Allegro moderato

2. No.13f: Tempo di Valse

3. No.13b: Moderato assai

4. No.13g: Coda (Allegro vivace)

5. Act Three:No.15: Allegro giusto

No.17: Scene et Valse

6. No.18: Scene (Allegro)
No.21: Danse Espagnole

7. No.22:Danse Napolitaine

8. No.23: Mazurka

9. No.20: Danse Hongroise

10. No.5: Pas de deux
(a) Intrada (Tempo di Valse)
(b) Andante
(c) Tempo di Valse
11. (d) Coda (Allegro molto vivace)

12. Act Four:No.28:Scene (Allegro agitato)
No.29:Scene finale (Andante-Allegro agitato)

L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande conducted by Ernest Ansermet