1893, 1894, 1900, 1991, Music

The Seasons; Valses de Concert (1991) by Alexander Glazunov, performed by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Kazuyoshi Akiyama

The Seasons, Op. 67

The Seasons is a pretty great ballet (well, I am making an assumption about the choreography) that is helped by the fact that it predates the great, revolutionary ballets of the early 20th century.

This music is absolutely Romantic, one might even call it unapologetically romantic, but that is looking at this whole thing with a great deal of hindsight, as arguably Romantic music was quite killed off as something significant until the end of the decade (at the very earliest). I don’t know my ballets at all, but it’s a nice piece. It’s certainly not among my favourite Romantic compositions (or even among my favourite Russian Romantic compositions), but I see the appeal, I really do.

  1. №01 Prélude
  2. Tableau I — L’Hiver (winter)
    1. №02 Scène de l’Hiver
    2. №03 Variation du givre (frost)
    3. №04 Variation de la glace (ice)
    4. №05 Variation de la grêle (hail)
    5. №06 Variation de la neige (snow)
    6. №07 Coda
  3. Tableau II — Le Printemps (spring): №08 Entrée de Printemps, Zéphyre, les Fées des fleurs, les oiseaux et les fleurs
  4. Tableau III — L’Été (summer)
    1. №09 Scène de l’Été
    2. №10 Valse des bleuets et des pavots (Waltz of the Cornflowers and Poppies)
    3. №11 La Barcarolle – Entrée des naïades, le satyres et des faunes
    4. №12 Variation de l’Esprit du maïs
    5. №13 Coda
  5. Tableau IV — L’Automne (fall):
    1. №14 Grande bacchanale des saisons—
      1. Entrée des saisons
      2. L’Hiver
      3. Le Printemps
      4. Bacchanale
      5. L’Été
    2. №15 Petit adage
    3. №16 Variation du Satyre
    4. №17 Coda générale
  6. Apotheosis: №18 Apothéose: La Révélation des étoiles

Op. 47: Concert Waltz No. 1 in D major for orchestra (1893)

Op. 51: Concert Waltz No. 2 in F major for orchestra (1894)

The waltzes seem very traditional to me, almost classical. The second in particular sounds like something else I just cannot place. (Or perhaps I have heard it before.) They are, on the one hand, obvious filler, having little to do with the ballet in question. But I guess they have to included somewhere, and an orchestra might as well perform them as an encore or something.


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