Tag Archives: American Ballet Theatre

The Nutcracker


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The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker, a celebrated ballet by Tchaikovsky, tells the story of a young girl whose Christmas gift of a nutcracker turns into a prince and leads her to a magical land. In 1954, George Balanchine choreographed and premiered his New York City Ballet version, which was later made into a feature film. Mikhail Baryshnikov choreographed another enormously popular version for the American Ballet Theatre. What novel instrument did Tchaikovsky use in the Nutcracker score? More… Discuss
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The Nutcracker Suite (Full Album) – Tchaikovsky

Published on Oct 27, 2014

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Song titles for Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker in order:
1. Op. 71 – 2. March 0:00
2. Op. 71 – 4. Dance 2:47
3. Op. 71 – 5. Scene & The Grandfather Dance
4. Op. 71 – 6. Scene
5. Op. 71 – 7. Scene
6. Op. 71 – 8. Scene
7. Op. 71 – 12. Arabian Dance, “Coffee”
8. Op. 71 – 13. Waltz Of The Flowers
9. Op. 71 – 14. Pas De Deux
10. Op. 71 – 15. Closing Waltz & Grand Finale

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Itzhak Perlman – J. Massenet “Thais” Meditation: great compositions/performances


Itzhak Perlman – J. Massenet “Thais” Meditation

37,413 views 2 years ago
Jules MassenetThaïs” Meditation
Itzhak Perlman – Violin
Lawrence Foster – Conductor
The Abbey Road Ensemble
Photography and filming by myself at Praia da Rocha, Algarve, Portugal

Méditation (Thaïs)
Méditation is a symphonic intermezzo from the opera Thaïs by French composer Jules Massenet. The piece is written for solo violin and orchestra. The opera was first premiered at the Opéra Garnier in Paris on March 16, 1894.

The Méditation is a symphonic entr’acte performed between the scenes of Act II in the opera Thaïs. In the first scene of Act II, Athanaël, a Cenobite monk, confronts Thaïs, a beautiful and hedonistic courtesan and devotée of Venus, and attempts to convince her to leave her life of luxury and pleasure and find salvation through God. It is during a time of reflection following the encounter that the Méditation is played by the orchestra. In the second scene of Act II, following the Méditation, Thaïs tells Athanaël that she will follow him to the desert.

The piece is in D major and is approximately five minutes long (although there are a number of interpretations that stretch the piece to over six minutes). Massenet may also have written the piece with religious intentions; the tempo marking is Andante Religioso, signifying his intention that it should be played religiously and at walking tempo. The piece opens with a short introduction by the harps, with the solo violin quickly entering with the motif. After the violin plays the melody twice, the piece goes into a section marked animato, gradually becoming more and more passionate (Massenet wrote poco a poco appassionato). The climax is reached at a place marked poco piu appassionato (a little more passion) and is then followed by a short cadenza-like passage from the soloist and returns to the main theme. After the theme is played twice, the soloist joins the orchestra while playing harmonics on the upper register as the harps and strings quietly play below the solo line.

Mikhail Baryshnikov


Mikhail Baryshnikov

 

Mikhail Baryshnikov in New York, 1984.

Mikhail Baryshnikov in New York, 1984. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Baryshnikov is a world renowned Russian-American dancer and choreographer. He began studying dance in Riga, Latvia, where he was raised, and soon earned himself a coveted spot with the Kirov Ballet, one of the foremost ballet companies in Russia. In 1974, while on tour with the company, he defected to the West and joined the American Ballet Theatre, where he later served as artistic director. He has also tried his hand at acting and has appeared in a number of films and TV shows, such as what? More… Discuss

Alicia Alonso


Alicia Alonso

Alonso is a Cuban prima ballerina and choreographer. She danced in Broadway musicals before becoming a soloist with several leading companies, including the American Ballet Theatre, in 1939. She is best known for her work in Giselle and in Agnes de Mille‘s Fall River Legend. Her own works include La Tinaja, Ensayos Sinfonicos, and Lidia, all created for her company, which Alonso has continued to direct despite being almost blind. What caused her failing vision? More… Discuss