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Thread: Delibes and Minkus

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    Senior Member Tristan's Avatar
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    Default Delibes and Minkus

    First off, so great to finally see a ballet subforum

    Just thought I'd start a thread dedicated to two of my favorite perhaps-underrated ballet composers.

    Léo Delibes and Ludwig/Leon Minkus were two 19th century ballet composers whose works are not as well-known as Tchaikovsky's, but even Tchaikovsky considered Delibes an influence.

    Delibes of course is most known for Coppélia (which I've seen live), though Sylvia is also sometimes performed. (I consider Sylvia one of my all-time favorite ballets). Delibes and Minkus also collaborated on another ballet called La Source.

    Minkus himself is most known for an arrangement of Don Quixote by John Lanchbery. Arrangements of La Bayadère and portions of Paquita are also available.

    Is anyone else a fan of these composers? Ever seen any Delibes or Minkus ballets in person? Have anything to recommend?
    A way a lone a last a loved a long the riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.

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    Senior Member Selby's Avatar
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    I am not familiar with either. I look forward to spending some time with their works.... Do you have any youtube links per chance with good interpretations?

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    Senior Member Tristan's Avatar
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    Here's a march from Coppélia:



    Here's a section from Sylvia that I love (the best part is 1:00 in):



    Here is a piece from Minkus' La Bayadère that I like:

    A way a lone a last a loved a long the riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.

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    Senior Member hreichgott's Avatar
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    For me, both composers are perfect ballet composers in that they write music that suits the plot and choreography brilliantly, with whistle-able melodies to boot. I don't know that I find them that musically substantive, but they are fun, kinda like late 19th century 3-chord pop

    Some great musical moments
    Delibes: Giselle, Mad scene
    Instead of a wild crazy madness, Delibes gave Giselle a gentle, heartbreaking madness -- the delicate music is the love theme that she and Albrecht danced to earlier -- now she has discovered that Albrecht has betrayed her.
    (revelation of betrayal at 1:55, mad scene begins at 2:35)


    Minkus: Bayadere, Entrance of the shades (the boring footage of Solor smoking to a lengthy harp cadenza lasts only until 0:26)


    Minkus: Don Quixote, excerpts from the first act (with Natalia Osipova, one of today's great Kitris)


    Delibes: Coppelia, Czardas (bonus: this video features Carlos Acosta who is a wonderful dancer, smooth and precise and charming in absolutely any style of movement)
    Last edited by hreichgott; Aug-07-2013 at 02:24. Reason: erased response to Tristan - I misread his post at first
    Heather W. Reichgott, piano
    http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com

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    Senior Member sharik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tristan View Post
    underrated ballet composers. Léo Delibes and Ludwig/Leon Minkus
    by no means underrated, on the contrary - rather famous.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tristan View Post
    Minkus himself is most known for an arrangement of Don Quixote by John Lanchbery
    that is of course quite otherwise, the latter is only known for his arragenments on the works of the former, right?

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    Senior Member sharik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hreichgott View Post
    Delibes: Giselle
    music for Giselle was written by Adolf Adam, not Delibes.

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    Senior Member hreichgott's Avatar
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    Right, of course. I keep getting that backwards. (Adam/Delibes)
    Heather W. Reichgott, piano
    http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com

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    Senior Member JCarmel's Avatar
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    Tristan...the greatest recommendation that I can offer for the music of Minkus and Delibes to raise the spirits...is that they were both favourite composers of my budgie, Frankie aka as Toppy. He really enjoyed their music...in fact, ballet music was very near to his budgie heart and the merest hint of a 'Sugar Plum Fairy' and he was out on his little platform, singing-away through his repertoire of little phrases to the music. He used to fly all around the ground floor of my house & if I felt that he needed a change of scene, I'd call him over and he'd land on my shoulder...& we'd go up the stairs, in and out of the rooms in turn....having a look out of the windows, touring the top half of the house, together.

    toppy1.jpg

    In all honesty, Toppy had the some of the best taste in music of virtually anybody that I have met, in general terms.....he seemed to instinctively recognise great music and interpretations. However, his taste had it's limitations...if I put on atonal music, he would rush out of his cage, take-off on a circuit of the room squawking...& wouldn't calm-down until I took the offending piece off and slapped-on a bit of Haydn!! He died a good few years ago now but most times I hear Minkus or the music of The Nutcracker, my mind is flooded with the sentimental remembrance of him as another living being...and a friend (he was a great friend...) that I was most fond-of. I'll never not miss him!
    Last edited by JCarmel; Aug-10-2013 at 16:00.

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    Senior Member Couac Addict's Avatar
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    I saw this production when holidaying in Australia a few months ago. Would the rest of the world kindly take notes...it's okay to ditch the drab backdrops/Vermeer-inspired palettes and inject some colour into the scene.

    This space for rent.

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  17. #10
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    Never particularly got on with Don Quixote but I have always liked Delibes especially Sylvia even though I have only seen it once (not live though)

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