Posts Tagged ‘Soviet’

Revolutionary Soviet ballet premieres in the U.S.

Revolutionary Soviet ballet premieres

Revolutionary Soviet ballet premieres

Some history is in order. Musicologist and composer Boris Asafyev (1884-1949) based his score on songs of the French Revolution, “La Marseillaise” the most famous, and also “Ça ira” and “La Carmagnole.” Typical for large-scale spectacles, his music is bombastic boilerplate suited for ballet. He also adds other traditional or folk-like dances for the crowd scenes. A markedly conservative score, barely a note sounds as though it could have been written after the year 1900. It’s as though Stravinsky, not to mention Asafyev’s younger contemporary Dmitri Shostakovich, had never existed. Some tunes are lifted from the royal French court music of composers such as Jean-Baptiste Lully and André Grétry.

Original stage and costume design was by Vladimir Dmitriev, who also co-authored the libretto with Nicolai Volkov, based on the novel Les rouges du Midi by Félix Gras.

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