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Thread: Recommended first pieces?

  1. #16
    Senior Member dzc4627's Avatar
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    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca View Post
    ...and which was used by George Balanchine for his 1952 ballet Scotch Symphony
    Truly Balanchine could "see the music" like no one else. It's a shame so little of his work has been captured on video. I have the 1970's Dance in America programs of his work on DVD (one of which may be out of sync in whole or in part). I also have the much more recent Paris Opera Ballet video of Balanchine's "Jewels," which uses wonderful music by Faure, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky (although the dancing does not match the best I've seen at City Ballet).

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    Senior Member geralmar's Avatar
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    Offenbach/Rosenthal: Gaite Parisienne.

    Ravel: Bolero.
    Last edited by geralmar; Mar-25-2016 at 05:08.

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    Senior Member kartikeys's Avatar
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    Go random, see what appeals to you, and think over tea why it does.
    I write at tarakari.blogspot.com
    Classical music in simple language

    My books: Link to Amazon

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    Senior Member Lyricus's Avatar
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    [delete please]
    Last edited by Lyricus; Mar-25-2016 at 05:43.

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    Junior Member Moriarty's Avatar
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    Swan Lake of Tchaikovsky.

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    Senior Member Clouds Weep Snowflakes's Avatar
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    No matter how far away is Christmas and how many times I listen to The Nutcracker I never get bored.

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    Senior Member Haydn70's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clouds Weep Snowflakes View Post
    No matter how far away is Christmas and how many times I listen to The Nutcracker I never get bored.
    I was executive director of a small regional dance company for seven years. The last five of those years we did The Nutcracker. I came to really the work.

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    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    Another recommendation for Stravinsky’s Petrushka, perhaps his most charming and delightful ballet:

    Last edited by Larkenfield; Mar-03-2019 at 03:39.
    "That's all Folks!"

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    Senior Member Zhdanov's Avatar
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    H.S.Løvenskiold - La Sylphide





    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Sylphide

  13. #26
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    I'd suggest that you focus on the music that impresario Serge Diaghilev commissioned for his Ballet Russes, which was a Russian ballet company in residence in Paris (& Monte Carlo) at the early part of the 20th century. Diaghilev commissioned (or adapted) works from a number of the great composers of the day--such as Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, Igor Stravinsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, etc.. It's a fascinating period in the history of music. I'd also recommend the three famous ballets of Pyotr Tchaikovsky--Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and The Sleeping Beauty, and Serge Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, to get started.

    --Claude Debussy, Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun:

    LP recording (with crackles): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOqQAHXDSeo
    --Claude Debussy, Jeux (this work may be a bit more challenging, but give the music a try, if you're open to it): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhbfgHT42QM

    --Maurice Ravel, Ma Mére L'Oye (Mother Goose): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3cN...lhoTT&index=11
    --Maurice Ravel, Daphnis et Chloé: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHrstmOPKBQ

    --Igor Stravinsky, The Firebird (or L'oiseau de feu):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFEU...t8d8rvDDhuu1VI
    --Igor Stravinsky, The Rite of Spring (or Le Sacre du Printemps): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Si6fn8x1aVA
    --Igor Stravinsky, Petruschka (or Petrouchka): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OW4jaI9o6Q

    --Rimsky-Korsakov, Scheherazade: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdnUBQT5Bqw

    --Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Swan Lake:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyHjbijJb6Y
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rJoB7y6Ncs
    --Pyotr Tchaikovsky, The Sleeping Beauty: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJkTvPXRztU

    --Serge Prokofiev, Romeo and Juliet:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8OmseHfd0U
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AT1zTPwd2Vk

    And one more from the Ballets Russes, if your game:

    --Gabriel Pierne, Cydalise et la Chévre-pied: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uz2H...x6Auu9VTORE4kk

    Finally, I'd also suggest watching George Balanchine's ballet that he choreographed to Robert Schumann's imaginative solo piano work, Davidsbundlertänze:



    You may not like everything that you listen to above, but if you like some of it, that's a good start.
    Last edited by Josquin13; Mar-30-2020 at 22:44.

  14. #27
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Not sure who we're responding to, but if you want an introduction to abstract (non-story) ballet, I'd recommend Balanchine's Serenade to Tchaikovsky's Serenade in C.

    Ratmansky's ballet set to the piano version of Pictures at an Exhibition would be another good choice.

  15. #28
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    If, as it seems, ballet music i mostly what you're looking for, most of the foregoing is good. Please remember that a lot of full-length ballet scores are full of "filler" to get from number to number that frankly, isn't very interesting. Often suites and excerpts are a better way to go. Also until the "biggies" appeared in the late 19th c., a lot of ballet music was intentionally bland (and boring) so as not to upstage the dancers. If you find one of these, don't give up, but move on.

  16. #29
    Senior Member Marsilius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkW View Post
    ...Also until the "biggies" appeared in the late 19th c., a lot of ballet music was intentionally bland (and boring) so as not to upstage the dancers. If you find one of these, don't give up, but move on.
    Or, alternatively, explore it further by watching a performance with dancers on video/YouTube or wherever.

    When you do that you will see a strikingly different - and by no means necessarily inferior - art form that had developed to a very sophisticated level before the advent of Tchaikovsky. Its primary focus was very much on the choreography and dancers, rather than on the music. The latter, indeed, was, at the choreographer's demand (and fee!), virtually deliberately composed to be self-effacing and primarily accommodating to, rather than challenging, the dancers and their abilities.

    Good places to start might be Esmeralda, The pharoah's daughter, Napoli or, at the summit of that era of ballet history, La bayadère or Don Quixote.

  17. #30
    Senior Member Marsilius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haydn70 View Post
    I was executive director of a small regional dance company for seven years. The last five of those years we did The Nutcracker. I came to really the work.
    "Love"? "Hate"? An interesting and maybe Freudian slip!

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