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Pierre's Tuesday Blog

Invitation to the Dance

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This montage from four years ago is a reminder of what June meant for my family - dance recitals!

Our montage gets its name from my first selection: a vintage recording by Artur Schnabel of Weber’s “Invitation to the Dance”. The piece of music depicts the ritual of a man asking a partner to dance with him, then they partake in a dizzying waltz, and finally the suitor accompanies his partner back and thanks her for the opportunity.

As an excerpt from a dance suite, I chose one of Edvard Grieg's Symphonic Dances - following the same formula that Rachmaninov and Stravinsky have also used.

I first heard Debussy's Dances for Chromatic Harp on a vintage vinyl recording by Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra. The version I chose, a more recent rendition by Pierre Boulez and the Cleveland Orchestra, has just the right balance of restraint and energy.

On the folk dance side of things, I chose examples by Claude Champagne, Johannes Brahms and Antonin Dvořák. The Dvorak and Brahms dances were both originally conceived for piano four-hands, and later orchestrated - in the case of Brahms' set, some were even orchestrated by Dvořák!

There's a bit of mutual admiration between Brahms and Dvorak, and it's clear that the Slavonic dances are a bit of a tip of the hat to the Hungarian dances.... And, according to some, these dances influenced Scott Joplin and his ragtime contemporaries - case in point: the Rag Time Dance.

Dance sequences from major stage works complete the montage, with examples from de Falla, Borodin , Gluick , Gliere and Richard Strauss.

Happy listening!

ITYWLTMT Podcast Montage # 9 – Invitation to the Dance
(Originally issued on Friday, June 10, 2011)


Carl Maria von WEBER (1786 – 1826)
Aufforderung zum Tanz (Invitation to the Dance): Rondo brillant in D flat major, J. 260
Artur Schnabel, piano

Claude CHAMPAGNE (1891 –1965)
Danse villageoise (1929)
Angèle Dubeau, violin
Louise-Andrée Baril, piano

Edvard GRIEG (1843 –1907)
Symphonic Dance in A major, op. 64, no. 2
Philharmonia Orchestra
Raymond Leppard, conducting

Johannes BRAHMS (1833 –1897)
Ungarische Tänze (Hungarian dance) in G minor, WoO 1, no. 1 "Isteni Czardas"
Junge Philharmonie Köln
Volker Hartung, conducting

Claude DEBUSSY (1862 –1918)
Danses pour harpe chromatique avec accompagnement d'orchestre d'instruments à cordes L 103
Cleveland Orchestra
Pierre Boulez, conducting

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841 –1904)
Slovanské Tance (Slavonic Dance) in B major, op. 72, no. 1 “Odzemek”
Wiener Philharmoniker
Fritz Reiner, conducting

Manuel de FALLA (1876 - 1946)
"Farruca" (Miller’s Dance) from El sombrero de tres picos (The Three-Cornered Hat), G 53
Narciso Yepes, guitar

Reinhold GLIÈRE (1875 – 1956)
“Sailor’s dance” from Krasny mak (The Red Poppy), Op. 70
Saint-Louis Symphony Orchestra
Leonard Slatkin, conducting

Alexander BORODIN (1833 –1887)
Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844–1908)
Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865 –1936)

“Polovetskie plyaski” (Polovtsian Dance) with Chorus from Act II of Knyaz' Igor' (Prince Igor) (op. posth.)
London Symphony Chorus
John Alldis, chorus master
London Symphony Orchestra
Sir Georg Solti, conducting

Christoph Willibald GLUCK (1714 –1787)
"Dance of the Blessed Spirits" from Act II of Orfeo ed Euridice, Wq 41
Hubert Laws, flute
Philharmonia Virtuosi of New-York
Richard Kapp, conducting

Richard STRAUSS (1864 –1949)
“Tanz der sieben Schleier” (Dance of the Seven Veils) from Salome, Op. 54
Staatskapelle Dresde (Dresden State Orchestra)
Rudolf Kempe, conducting

Scott JOPLIN (1868-1917)
The Ragtime Dance (1902)
Studio orchestra
Marvin Hamlisch, conducting from the piano



June 5 2014, "I Think You Will Love This Music Too" will feature a new podcast "Sonatas for solo instrument" at its Pod-O-Matic Channel . Read more on our blogs in English and in French.
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Updated Jun-02-2015 at 12:26 by itywltmt

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