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Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake | Music Appreciation
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There are major differences between Drigo's and Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake score. Today, it is Riccardo Drigo's revision of Tchaikovsky's score as done for Petipa and Ivanov's revival, and not Tchaikovsky's original score of , that many—though by no means all—ballet companies use when performing Swan Lake. In February , two memorial concerts planned by Vsevolozhsky were given in honor of Tchaikovsky. Ivanov's choreography for the memorial concert was unanimously hailed as wonderful.
Swan Lake, No. 17: Dances of the corps de ballet and dwarfs
The Ballerina who danced Odile was the Italian virtuosa Pierina Legnani , and it was because of her great talent that the prospected revival of Swan Lake was planned for her benefit performance in the season. However, the death of Tsar Alexander III on November 1, and the period of official mourning that followed it brought all ballet performances and rehearsals to a close for some time, and as a result all efforts were able to be concentrated on the pre-production of the revival of Swan Lake. Ivanov and Petipa chose to collaborate on the production, with Ivanov retaining his dances for the second Act while choreographing the fourth, and with Petipa staging the first and third Acts.
Tchaikovsky's younger brother Modest was called upon to make the required changes to the ballet's libretto, the most prominent being his revision of the ballet's finale; instead of the lovers simply drowning at the hand of the wicked Von Rothbart as in the original scenario, Odette commits suicide by drowning herself, with Prince Siegfried choosing to die as well, rather than live without her, and soon the lovers' spirits are reunited in an apotheosis.
tchaikovsky swan lake op 20 act iii pt 2
Aside from the revision of the libretto the ballet was changed from four acts to three—with Act II becoming Act I-Scene 2. All was ready by the beginning of , and the ballet had its premiere on January Most of the reviews in the St. Petersburg newspapers were positive.
It was given only sixteen performances between the premiere and the season, and was not performed at all in Even more surprising, the ballet was performed only four times in and The ballet belonged solely to Legnani until she left St. Petersburg for her native Italy in Throughout the long and complex performance history of Swan Lake the edition of Petipa, Ivanov, and Drigo has served as the version from which many stagings have been based.
Nearly every balletmaster or choreographer who has re-staged Swan Lake has sought to make modifications to the ballet's scenario, while still maintaining to a considerable extent the traditional choreography for the dances, which is regarded as virtually sacrosanct. Also Baron von Stein, his wife, and Freiherr von Schwarzfels and his wife were no longer identified on the program. The sovereign or ruling Princess is often rendered "Queen Mother". Rothbart "Redbeard" may also be spelled Rotbart. Princess Odette is a fictional character from the ballet Swan Lake.
She also appears in many adaptations of the ballet. Odette is an enchanted princess under a spell of the evil sorcerer Von Rothbart; she has been transformed into a swan by day and can only regain her human form at night. She has many companions under the same spell, who have made her their queen, hence how she gained the title of 'The Swan Queen'. She is forced to live by a lake that was magically formed by her grieving mother's tears when Rothbart kidnapped her; Rothbart's reasons for kidnapping Odette and enchanting her are unknown in the ballet.
The only way for the spell to be broken is the power of eternal love to Odette from a young man who will remain faithful to her, for if the vow of eternal love is broken, she will remain a swan forever. One day, the young Prince Siegfried ventures upon the lake while out hunting and sees Odette transform from her swan form back into her human form. He is so struck by her beauty that he falls in love with her at once and when she tells him her story, he promises to love her forever and invites her to a Royal Ball at his castle so he may choose her as his bride.
They spend the night dancing together, falling more and more in love with each other until dawn breaks and Odette is forced to return to the lake as a swan, leaving Siegfried alone. Siegfried waits for Odette at the Ball and believes she has attended when two strangers arrive.