Fanfare und Tanz


Fanfare und Tanz
Fanfare and Dance

aus dem Ballett "Schwanensee"
from the ballet “The Swan Lake”

Concertwerk, Classic, Classical Transcription
Partituur + Partijen
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More than a century after the first performance of “Swan Lake” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow on March 4, 1877, it has been the most universally popular of all classical ballets and the music most closely identified with its composer. It was the first of his three widely known and esteemed ballets while “The Sleeping Beauty” and “The Nutcracker” did not follow until over a decade later. Today it is generally accepted that “Swan Lake” not only constitutes a milestone for the newer Russian ballet, it rather was the birth of the Russian ballet.

At the time of the first production of “Swan Lake” things were completely different. The premiere in Moscow met only with limited acceptance. This was partly due to the threadbare nature of the sets and costumes, the unimaginative and indifferently executed choreography and routine performance, and partly because the public and critics could not come to terms with such a substantial and carefully composed ballet score. In spite of that “Swan Lake” seems to have retained its place in the theater’s repertoire until the 1882/83 season after which date it was never given again during the composer’s lifetime. When Tchaikovsky attended a performance of Delibes’ ballet “Sylvia” in Vienna nine months after the first production of ”Swan Lake” he was so impressed with it that he considered his own work greatly inferior to it for some time thereafter, and in a letter to his pupil Sergei Taneyev of December 7, 1877 he wrote. “If I had known this music early then, of course, I would not have written ‘Swan Lake’”. Later Tchaikovsky changed his attitude, and in an answer to F. Makkar on December 4, 1885 regarding an invitation to stage “Swan Lake” in Brussels he stated: “I do not relate negatively to the music of my ballet Swan Lake; it seems to me that it is not so bad, but the subject is boring and I fear for its success”.

Four years later, inspired by the example of Léo Delibes, he had the idea to make a suite of the ballet score for concert hall use. His publisher eventually agreed to this in September 1882. However, it is not known how far things were taken during Tchaikovsky’s lifetime or who is responsible for the selection of the six numbers when the suite was eventually published seven years after Tchaikovsky’s death in 1900.

“Fanfare and Dance” largely rely on No. 17 of Act III “Arrival of the guests and waltz” of the ballet. Leonty Dunaev carefully adapted it to the symphonic band omitting some few sections that are exclusively keyed to the dance proper and that do not influence concert performances.

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