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Thread: Swan Lake original score

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    Senior Member Tristan's Avatar
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    Default Swan Lake original score

    Would you be interested in seeing Swan Lake performed with the music originally intended? I.e. with the music that appears on all recordings of Swan Lake, but not in the performances. (Have you seen it this way? Do they ever perform it that way in Russia? I don't even know.)

    The version of Swan Lake most often performed nowadays includes cuts and additions made by Riccardo Drigo in 1895 (including arrangements of Tchaikovsky's piano music Op. 72 and his own original music for the so-called "Black Swan Pas de Deux").

    Personally I understand taking No. 5 "Pas de Deux for Two Merry-makers" and adapting it to Act III. But I'd also be interested in seeing an original version of the ballet, without Nos. 16, 19, and 26 cut entirely and without the "new" music added. That's the version I'm used to listening to on CD, so I don't think I would dislike it if I saw a performance using that score.
    Last edited by Tristan; Dec-01-2015 at 18:41.
    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 Becca's Avatar
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    When you say 'most often performed', give me examples of what companies & productions. I ask because there are so many slightly different versions. Even companies like the Royal Ballet have done it a number of different versions, each of which makes some changes in the score. As to the full score, I am not sure that any company would want to do that these days as it would make for a much longer evening, besides we would probably get some very indifferent choreography for the additional parts.

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    Senior Member Tristan's Avatar
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    Well, I really only have my own experience to go off of, that of the San Francisco Ballet. I know they used the 1895 version; most other productions, even if they make other changes, are based on the 1895 production. I think it's uncommon to not have the Black Swan Pas de Deux in a production of the Swan Lake, for example.

    But you're right, the original score is almost 2 and a half hours long. It makes sense to cut out about 30 minutes of music (the same goes for Sleeping Beauty--but while the production of Sleeping Beauty I saw was missing about a half hour of music, there was nothing really added in or moved around). It seems like Swan Lake has been changed more.
    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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