KN21 Variation de la Fée de Lilas
Two Movements from “The Sleeping Beauty” by Peter I. Tchaikovsky, orchestrated by Igor Strawinsky — Zwei Sätze aus dem Ballett “Dornröschen” von Peter I. Tschaikowsky, nach dem Klavierauszug instrumentiert von Igor Strawinsky
Scored for: Variation: Flute, 2 Oboes, Clarinet in Bb, Fagott, 4 Horns in F, 2 Cornets à pistons in Bb, 2 Trumpets in Bb, 3 Trombones, Tuba, Strings (First Violins, Second Violins, Violas, Violoncellos, Double basses); Entr’acte: 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, Englisch horn, 2 Clarinets in A, 2 Bassoons, 4 Horns in F, 2 Cornets à pistons in A, 2 Trompeten in A, 3 Posaunen, Tuba, Pauken, Solo-Violine, Strings (First Violins*, Second Violins*, Violas*, Violoncellos, Double basses)
* Divided in two.
Source: Both pieces come from the second act of the full-length ballet The Sleeping Beauty by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, which was premiered in 1890 in St Petersburg. Variation de la Fée de Lilas corresponds to number 15b in the ballet, also called Variation d’Aurore in the original, while the Entr’acte is the Entr’acte symphonique, the symphonic interlude which is number 18 in the ballet.
Dedication: no dedication known.
Duration: Variation: about 2′; Entr’acte: about 4′.
Date of origin: April to September 1921.
First performance: The premiere took place in London (Alhambra Theatre) on 2nd November and was as part of the unabridged new performance of Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty with Olga Spessiwtzewa (Aurora), Pierre Vladimirow (Prinz Desiré), Carlotta Brianza (Carabossa), the Ballets Russes de Serge de Diaghilew (Vera de Bosset-Soudeikina, Felix Dubrowska, Stanislas Idzikowski, Lydia Lopokowa, Vera Nemtschinowa, Bronislawa Nijinska, Ludmilla Schollar, Thadée Slawinsky, Ljubow Tschernitschewa, Léon Woizikowsky, Nicolai Zwerew). Stage design and costumes:Léon Bakst; choreography (referring to Marius Petipa): Nicolai Sergejew with Bronislawa Nijinska (Variations), direction: Serge Grigoriew; musical direction: Gregor Fitelberg.
Remarks: Diaghilev planned a repeat performance of Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty ballet for Autumn 1921 in the version used at the 1890 premiere. Tchaikovsky himself had subsequently made the cuts that Diaghilev wished to reopen. As there was no access to the original orchestration, Diaghilev asked Strawinsky during their joint visit to Seville in April 1921 to fill the orchestral gaps based on the piano reduction that they did have access to. Diaghilev later needed more work from Strawinsky, because he, as the result of a choreographic change for the scene L’Aurore se pique, required another short bridging passage. This scene remains unpublished. The manuscript is stored in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. It consists of only a few bars which in fact strangely have as the date of composition October 1920. This must be a printing error in the score or a dating error on Strawinsky’s part, because in August 1920, the project had not yet been set in motion. Diaghilev received a sensational success with this English Tchaikovsky production and at the same time, went bankrupt as a result. The version of the two excerpts should not be confused with the orchestral arrangement of the Pas de Deux from 1941.
Versions: The pieces remained unpublished during Strawinsky’s lifetime. Boosey & Hawkes obtained the copyright in 1979 and brought out a pocket score for purchase in 1981. Sections of the autograph score are in the National Library in Paris, and the sketches are in the Paul Sacher Stiftung in Basel.
Historical Recordings: none traceable.
CD-Edition: not contained.
Autograph: Parts of the autograph are stored in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris, sketches in the Paul Sacher Stiftung in Basel.
Copyright: 1979 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers.
K Catalog: Annotated Catalog of Works and Work Editions of Igor Strawinsky till 1971, revised version 2014 and ongoing, by Helmut Kirchmeyer.
© Helmut Kirchmeyer. All rights reserved.
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