Tag Archives: bolshoi ballet

Symphony No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 17 “Little Russian” – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Yuri Temirkanov, conductor, great compositions/performances


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


Itzhak Perlman – J. Massenet “Thais” Meditation

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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.

Aram Khachaturian: Spartacus: Adagio of Spartacus & Phrygia


The Bolshoi Ballet‘s Irek Mukhamedov as Spartacus and Lyudmilla Semenyaka as Phrygia, performing my favorite scene. So lovely.

Wikipedia said: “Spartacus, or Spartak, is a ballet by Aram Khachaturian (1903–1978). The work follows the exploits of Spartacus, the leader of the slave uprising against the Romans known as the Third Servile War, although the ballet’s storyline takes considerable liberties with the historical record. Khachaturian composed the ballet in 1954, and for this was awarded a Lenin Prize that year.[1] It was first staged, with choreography by Leonid Yakobson, in Leningrad 1956,[2] but only with qualified success since Yakobson abandoned conventional pointe in his choreography.[3] The ballet received its first staging at the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow in 1958, choreographed by Igor Moiseev; however it was the 1968 production, choreographed by Yury Grigorovich, which achieved the greatest acclaim for the ballet.[2] It remains one of Khachaturian’s best known works and is prominent within the repertoires of the Bolshoi Theatre and other ballet companies in Russia and the former Soviet Union.”

Spartacus
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Choreographed by Leonid Yakobson
Composed by Aram Khachaturian
Date of premiere 1956
Place of premiere Kirov Theatre,Leningrad
Original ballet company Kirov Ballet
Characters Crassus
Spartacus
Phrygia
Aegina
Genre Neoclassical ballet