Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The music that serenades me

 The first ballet George Balanchine choreographed in America in 1934 when he was 30 years old was "Serenade".  It was Balanchine's third masterpiece after "Apollon musagete" in 1928 and "Le Fils Prodigue" in 1929.

"Serenade" was the first of many ballets for Balanchine choreographed to the beloved Tchaikovsky.  The score that accompanies "Serenade" is Tchaikovsky's "Serenade for Strings in C" an it was also a work that was a personal favorite of the composer himself.

Ballet company performing George Balanchine's Serenade

When composed, Tchaikovsky intended the first movement to be an imitation of Mozart's style and it was based on the form of the classical sonatina, with a slow introduction.

The pure pulse of Tchaikovsky's score can stand on its own and be extremely resonating to an audience on its audio alone.

However, when coupled by the genius choreography of Balanchine, with the steps echoing each note, it's a combination like no other.  Above is a clip form Pacific Northwest Ballet's production of "Serenade".  It is easy to see that the music's powerful nature is heightened when everything comes together, the lightening, choreography, costumes, etc.  It's a combination that's thrilling to watch and especially joyful to the ears.

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