Jump to content


Paquita! WHO COMPOSED WHAT?


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 Solor

Solor

    Bronze Circle

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 494 posts

Posted 09 October 2005 - 01:42 PM

An older thread has an in-depth discussion about the variations of the "Paquita" Grand pas Classique ( http://ballettalk.in...topic=11664&hl= -as well as this thread - http://ballettalk.in...showtopic=18439 ) but unfortunatly it doesnt help clear up the mystery of the good ole' 1881 Grand Pas Classique Petipa added to the ballet"Paquita". In this older thread, there is a wonderful listing provided by RG, that lists each variation to the composer. Unfortunatly, each variation only has titles such as '2/4, 3/4, 4/4' and so on, and one is left wondering what variation is being reffered to.

Instead of using the available films of the Grand Pas Classique of "Paquita" (of ABT w/ Gregory & Bujones & of the Kirov w/ Makhalina & Zelensky) as was done in the threads listed above, why not use the available recordings on CD by Boris Spassov and the Sofia National Opera Orchestra (CD Capriccio 10 544) , and Richard Bonynge (for those that have it), since it can be listened to and compared to. I know that Minkus didnt compose all of the variations included in the Spassov recording - even the ones that arent credited to another composer.

Aside from containing Minkus's full additions for the ballet "Paquita" (The Grand Pas Classique, the Pas de Trois, and the Children's Polonaise and Mazurka), the Spassov Recording also contains Minkus's music for the scene "The Kingdom of the Shades" from "La Bayadere". What makes the Spassov recording so much better than the Bonynge recording(s) (Bonynge has recorded excerpts from both "La Bayadere" and "Paquita") is that the music as presented by Spassov is as Minkus orignaly scored it. Most recordings (Bonynge's included) of Minkus's music are of re-orchestrations/revisions.

So who wrote these ever so famous yet obscure variations that traditionally turn up in "Paquita"? What ballets did they originate from? For what dancer and in what year did these variations get composed? It is Mathilde Kschessinksa who is responsible for having the entire suite of 4 or more variations show up in the "Paquita" Grand Pas Classique. At some point in the early 1910s (I have read that it was for a gala in honor of Catherine the Great) she invited her ballerina freinds to dance their favourite variations during the pas, and this simply became tradition, surviving to the present day.

There are 9 variations recorded on this CD, they span from tracks 21-29 -

Track 21. in 3/4 -by Delibes (I have no clue what ballet this variation originated from, nor have I ever seen it performed in anyones staging of the Pas - it could be that the credit to Delibes is an error)
Track 22. in 3/4 -by Pugni (incorrectly spelled as 'Pouni' in the CD's accompanying booklet) (this is the 'White Pearl' variation from the so-called 'Underwater Scene' from "The Little Humpbacked Horse")
Track 23. in 3/4 -by Minkus (this variation with a solo for harp is from Petipa's 1891 ballet "Kalkabrino") (danced by Lubov Kunakova in the Kirov/Mariinksy film) (for trivia's sake it might be interesting for some to know that "Kalkabrino" was Minkus's last known ballet)
Track 24. in 2/4 -by Minkus (this is the variation danced by Cupid in 'The Kingdom of the Dryads' AKA 'The Garden of Dulcinea' AKA "The Dream Scene" from "Don Quixote")
Track 25. in 4/4 -by Cherepnin (this variation with a solo for celesta (or xylophone?) is from Fokine's 1907 ballet "La Pavillion d'Armide") (danced by Larissa Lezhnina in the Kirov/Mariinksy film "Kirov Classics")
Track 26. in 4/4 -by Drigo (the slow gavotte variation with a lovely solo for harp is traditionally danced by the lead ballerina of the "Paquita" Grand Pas Classique - Yulia Makhlina dances it in the Kirov film "Kirov Classics" aka "Maryinsky Ballet", and so does Cynthia Gregory (in Lanchbery's horrific reorchestration with nauseating counterpoint, though I find the violin's to be a pretty addition during the slow bouree en diagnale) in the ABT film "ABT at the Met: Mixed Bill") (this variation comes from Petipa's 1892 revival of Phillipe Taglioni's original 1832 production of "La Sylphide". Riccardo Drigo added music to the original Jean-Madaliene Shnietzhoeffer score for this revival. This variation was written by Drigo especially for the ballerina Vavara Nikitina who danced the Sylph {historically Nikitina is best known for being the first Princess Florine in the 'Blue Bird Pas de Deux' from "The Sleeping Beauty"}. The variation came to be included in the "Paquita" Grand Pas Classique via Anna Pavlova, as Petipa choreographed it especially for her {Drigo served as musical director for a time on Pavlova's tours} and likely adjusted the music further for her performance). I have heard that this variation was really by Cesare Pugni, interpolated for an early revival of the Taglioni/Schnietzhoeffer "La Sylphide" for the Act I 'Grand Pas de Trois'. I have a film of Olga Chenchikova dancing this variation in the excerpt from "Paquita" given on the film "Magic of the Kirov", and the music sounds VERY Pugni-ish to me, at least by way of the manner in which the orchestra was recorded for this film.....BEAUTIFUL MUSIC, WHOEVER WROTE IT! ***In Petipa's diaries, he writes on March 5/18 (new/old calender) 1904 - quote "They rehearsed "Paquita"-Pavlova II. I went to mount her role on her; composed (for Pavlova) a new variation for her to new music by Mons. Drigo...". I dont know why Petipa wrote 'new music'....perhaps his notorious slip of memory which came toward his later years.
Track 27. in 3/4 -by Minkus (the 'real' variation for the lead ballerina of the Pas {which more than likely explains the elaborate introduction of the variation}, at least according to Pierre Lacotte's revival for the Paris Opera Ballet) (danced by Cynthia Harvey in the ABT film "ABT at the Met: Mixed Bill")
Track 28. in 3/4 -by Minkus? (typical 19th century male variation in 3/4, identicle in structure to the Cosaire variation, or Solor's 'wedding' variation, for example. I have seen this variation danced by both the lead danseur of the pas, as well as by a female soloist, though I think that only in the west is the variation danced by a male, and in Russia it is danced by a female soloist among the suite of solos. In Makarova's staging of the pas for ABT this variation is danced by the lead danseur, as in the film ABT at the "Met: Mixed Bill", where it is danced by Fernando Bujones. Since this variation is usually danced by a woman, male variations from other ballets are often interpolated into the pas for the lead danseur, most often the introduction from the "Introduction and Mazurka" from "La Source", being from the section of the ballet scored by Leo Delibes {Minkus scored "La Source" with Delibes})
Track 29. 3/4 polonaise -by Minkus? (a variation with an elegant solo for violin in polonaise rhythm, which I believe comes from Petipa's 1892 revival of "Ondine", given at that time as "The Naiad and the Fisherman", and composed by Minkus for Anna Johannson) (Like the Delibes variation, Ive never seen this variation performed either in any peformance of the Pas. It is included in the Bonynge recording)

Tracks 16-20. The Pas de Trois -almost all by Minkus (the variation for the male dancer of the pas (Track 19) is by Adolphe Adam, and comes from his 1845 ballet "La Diable a Quatre" (AKA "The Willfull Wife"). The second part of the Entree in 3/4 (Track 16) is by Edouard Deldevez)

-up for question as well - the variation danced by Susan Jaffe in the ABT film "ABT at the Met: Mixed Bill"- I would love to know the origins of this variation, ANYONE KNOW?

ALSO - The Bonynge recordings of the "Paquita" Grand Pas Classique, and the Pas de Deux. Both pieces have been recorded by him only once but have been issued, as far as I know, 3 times. His recording of the Grand Pas turns up on the sets "Ballet Gala" (London / 2 CDs 421 818-2 / out-of-print) and "Fete du Ballet" (Decca / 10 CDs 468 578-2, still available). His recording of the Pas de Deux was included in the CD series "Ballet Gala" released by London in 1992, specifically on the disc "Ballet Gala: Pas de Deux" (Decca / CD 433 862-2 / out-of-print) as well as on the set "Fete du Ballet". Both the Grand Pas and the Pas de Deux recorded by Bonynge are of the music as used by Anna Pavlova during her tours of the late 1910's through the 1920s, and all the numbers are severely re-orchestrated. It was Pavlova that performed the Grand Pas in 'Pas de Deux form' from time to time. Basically, what is known as the "Paquita Pas de Deux" is simply the "Paquita" Grand Pas Classique performed as it was originaly intended - with only 2 variations (watch the DVD of Pierre Lacotte's recent revival of "Paquita" for the Paris Opera Ballet, which performs the pas in this way). Niether recording of either piece credits who is responsible for the orchestrations, but they are by Peter March (Bonynge's recording of excerpts from "The Kingdom of the Shades" scene of "La Bayadere" are also presented in a reorchestration, which is only titled as "original Pavlova material". This reorchestration is very much alike in style to his "Paquita" recording)

The Bonynge recording of the Grand Pas - The arrangements here are the same as for the recording of the pas de deux in the numbers that are included in both, and are by Peter March. The arrangement is not all that great IMO. Heres what Bonynge has recorded for the Grand Pas -

All of these numbers are on 1 whole track.
1. Entree
2. Grand Adagio
3. Dance for the Corps de Ballet
4. Variation in 3/4. (a nice tuneful piece. I have no idea where it comes from or who composed it, nor have I ever heard it before or seen it in any staging of the Pas)
5. Variation in 2/4 (this variation is probably by Pugni. It is the variation traditionally danced by Gulnare in the scene 'Le Jardin Anime' from "Le Corsaire". In this recording it is ridiculously over-orchestrated, sounding loud and awful)
6. Variation in 2/4 (this Kitri's variation before the finale of Act I of "Don Quixote", where she performs her famous sissones, as well as her downstage traveling pirouettes from 5th on the diagnale)
7. Variation in 3/4 (this variation comes from Petipa's ballet "Kalkabrino" and was composed by Minkus. It is nicely orchestrated)
8. Coda/Finale (the traditional Coda/Finale always used for the Pas. In this recording the ending is extended quite a bit. Pavlova sometimes had the music of her Codas/Finales extended to accompany everyone taking their bows at the end of a performance, and the one tacked-on here is very tacky a la Vaudville)

For the recording of the 'Paquita' Pas de Deux, the music for the Entree, Grand Adagio, Dance for the Corps, and the Coda is the same. For the variations Bonynge has recorded - the traditional variation for the male (no.28 in the Spassov recording), and the polonaise variation (no.29 in the Spassov recording).

**Excuse my time signatures if they are not correct, as I did my best!

#2 MinkusPugni

MinkusPugni

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 211 posts

Posted 11 October 2005 - 11:36 PM

Before reading this post, I believed the credits were correct, but you've said you're sure that Minkus didn't compose all of the ones that aren't credited to another composer.

I would like to add another question:
Why did Minkus choose other composer's pieces for his ballets? Why didn't he just compose some more? I thought the period of "quotations" was over before Minkus.



After going on Amazon.com and reading about the Paquita CD, I found out that Drigo was the one who composed Paquita's Harp Variation. It was composed for Anna Pavlova especially. There's one more variation credit to add. Though I'm not sure how accurate this is as it's only a review. The link above will take you to the review.

Also, the variation performed by Susan Jaffe is standard in most productions I believe. I have seen it performed before. I believe it's just omitted from the Spassov recording but I am only speculating.

Edited by MinkusPugni, 11 October 2005 - 11:52 PM.


#3 Mel Johnson

Mel Johnson

    Diamonds Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,311 posts

Posted 12 October 2005 - 03:42 AM

The "Grand Pas from Paquita" is sort of a catchall title for a Gala Performance sort of divertissement made up of variations collected from all over balletdom, kind of like the Gala version of Act II in Die Fledermaus. It wasn't put together by Minkus, but it's hung around a pas de deux by him. The original music for the ballet was by Deldevez, some of which survives in the pas de trois.

#4 Solor

Solor

    Bronze Circle

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 494 posts

Posted 12 October 2005 - 05:11 AM

Before reading this post, I believed the credits were correct, but you've said you're sure that Minkus didn't compose all of the ones that aren't credited to another composer.

I would like to add another question:
Why did Minkus choose other composer's pieces for his ballets? Why didn't he just compose some more? I thought the period of "quotations" was over before Minkus.



After going on Amazon.com and reading about the Paquita CD, I found out that Drigo was the one who composed Paquita's Harp Variation. It was composed for Anna Pavlova especially. There's one more variation credit to add. Though I'm not sure how accurate this is as it's only a review. The link above will take you to the review.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Lol....I wrote that review! How funny.

Sorry - I meant to say that, I think that most of the numbers that are not credited to another composer are are either by Minkus or someone else tat isnt credited at all (or even by Minkus AND someone else!).

I found out that the variation that is traditionaly for the lead ballerina of the pas is a revised piece of music that is from a Drigo addition from Petipa's 1892 revival oif "La Sylphide" (Shneitzhoffer, revised by Drigo 1892 - to bad that revival has not survived!.....or has it?)

Mikus didnt choose anything to be added to his ballets, the ballet master and/or the ballerina did! If they eanted a certain numner put into a ballet, then it was put there.

#5 MinkusPugni

MinkusPugni

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 211 posts

Posted 12 October 2005 - 11:02 PM

The Pas de Trois was written by Minkus, not Deldevez. And also, Minkus composed many more variations in Paquita than just the lead variations (ie from the Pas de Deux) so the original intention was to have variations from a few of the girls attending the wedding as well as Lucien and Paquita which is why I still think that Minkus did indeed put the variations in his score, not the choreographers.

It isn't logical that additions to the choreography from other composers would be recorded as "Paquita" if they weren't put there by Minkus. Some variations that are commonly performed are left out of the recording which indicates Minkus didn't add them to his score. It's just like Drigo's additions to Swan Lake aren't included in any recordings of "Swan Lake" (that I know of).

#6 Mel Johnson

Mel Johnson

    Diamonds Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,311 posts

Posted 13 October 2005 - 12:06 AM

Your logic is flawed, and presumes that Minkus was the producer of what we know today as the Paquita Grand Pas.

And recent research seems to indicate that Deldevez was the composer of the entrée to the pas de trois, and that Minkus simply added to it.

#7 doug

doug

    Bronze Circle

  • Editorial Advisor
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 322 posts

Posted 13 October 2005 - 07:27 AM

MinkusPugni, here we go again. You simply need to be better read in order to make the sort of statements you're making. A lot of scholars are working hard to sort out these details and blind claims such as yours that will be sitting on the internet to misguide well-meaning Google-ers won't help.

rg has a Russian publication on Paquita that is good source research. POB's program book for Lacotte's Paquita also offers excellent detail about the provenance of many Paquita variations. Ends up Delvedez composed more than was thought, Minkus less. This is now substantiated fact.

#8 Solor

Solor

    Bronze Circle

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 494 posts

Posted 13 October 2005 - 05:55 PM

The Pas de Trois was written by Minkus, not Deldevez. And also, Minkus composed many more variations in Paquita than just the lead variations (ie from the Pas de Deux) so the original intention was to have variations from a few of the girls attending the wedding as well as Lucien and Paquita which is why I still think that Minkus did indeed put the variations in his score, not the choreographers.

It isn't logical that additions to the choreography from other composers would be recorded as "Paquita" if they weren't put there by Minkus. Some variations that are commonly performed are left out of the recording which indicates Minkus didn't add them to his score. It's just like Drigo's additions to Swan Lake aren't included in any recordings of "Swan Lake" (that I know of).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Spassov recorded all of the variations that turn up traditionally in Paquita in Russian performances, and just because they are included in the recording doesnt make them Minkus. I dont know why you find it illogical that Spassov would have recorded these numbers if they werent Minkus. Theres another recording of the Grand Pas of Paquita as performed by the Bolshoi - Its part of a long out-of-print (of course) box set 'The Original Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra' conducted by Zhemchushin. This recording includes just about all of the variations that are in the Spassov recording, but theres 1 variation thats not in the Spassov recording, being the variation for Gulnare from the scene "Le Jardin Anime" from Corsaire, though in this Bolshoi recording the variation is orchestrated far differntly than when it is performed in Corsaire (this variation turns up in Bonynge's recording as well). All of the variations in the Bolshoi recording are, curiously, orchestrated very differently from the variations in the Spassov recording, though they are the same.

And also, as far as what you say about Minkus adding variations to the music instead of choreographers, well, Minkus would have added anything unless a choreographer, namely Petipa, told him to! But, what happened in the case of the Grand Pas, not only did variations from other ballets turn up there, but also variations from the rest of the ballet - the 3/4 Grand Jete solo (performed by Cynthia Harvey in the ABT vid) originally for Paquita in the Grand Pas, and the 3/4 pas de trois solo (in Makarova's version for ABT in the "Mixed Bill" vid). We can thank dear old Mme Kschessinka for having her ballerina homegirls dance their favorite variations in the Grand Pas. This started the tradition, and, well, the rest is history. These variations added in by these danseuses seem to still be hangin around in the Grand Pas all these many years later! Pavlova danced versions of stuff from Imperial Russia on her tours, like the Paquita Grand Pas. I'm sure you've heard Bonynge's recordings of Paquita, and again, I'm pretty sure though not 100% that all of his sources for Paquita are Pavlova's materials. But these solos in the Bonynge recording, who knows where they came from. Ive never seen them performed. Now as far as some variations of Paquita Grand Pas not being included in the Spassov recording, what variations are those? You got me, because only 2 varations that I have seen pop up in performances of Paquita is missing - the harp solo that Jaffe dances in the ABT vid, and the Delibes variation that Zelensky dances in place of the traditional male variation, and interpolation from 'La Source' (this variation isnt ever part of Paquita as far as I know, Zelensky just needed a change I guess). But again - if your referring to some of the variations Bonynge stuffed into his recording well, again, who knows where those came from. But otherwise every variation that turns up in Paquita in the Kirov staging is in the Spassov recording (watch the video/DVD 'Kirov Classics' AKA 'The Maryinsky Ballet' - the Kirov dances most of the variations that are in the Spassov recording, with the exception of the Delibes variation - track 21 on the CD, and the polonaise variation - Track 29 on the CD).

QUOTE
"It's just like Drigo's additions to Swan Lake aren't included in any recordings of "Swan Lake" (that I know of)"

That's cause these symphonic conductors ONLY record the orginal 1877 score, and more likely than not have no idea that when Swan Lake gets performed its the Drigo revised score that gets played (and also, listen to the way most of these conductors conduct the score, they obviously know very little about ballet). I've told you before, Fedotov made a CD of the 1895 Swan Pond revised by Drigo, it's out of print, but has been re-released - http://www.classical...r/cd-en/042.htm

#9 MinkusPugni

MinkusPugni

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 211 posts

Posted 01 November 2005 - 04:21 PM

I have just noticed that the first variation (that is apparently Delibes) appears on a class CD I own (A Class from St Petersburg) and that credits the music to Drigo.

#10 Solor

Solor

    Bronze Circle

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 494 posts

Posted 02 November 2005 - 08:02 PM

I have just noticed that the first variation (that is apparently Delibes) appears on a class CD I own (A Class from St Petersburg) and that credits the music to Drigo.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



I dont know.....it very well could be. I have everything Delibes ever wrote for the ballet on CD in a few recordings - including the ballet sections from his operas - and that variation doesnt turn up anywhere. Maybe Delibes wrote a few supplemental variations, etc. for various works during his lifetime, and that is where this variation had its orgins - but I have never heard of anything, aside from "Le Jardin Anime", that was an interpolation of his into another ballet.

#11 DanceMusicandHistoryInterest

DanceMusicandHistoryInterest

    Member

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPip
  • 13 posts

Posted 07 March 2007 - 07:38 AM

Track 22. in 3/4 -by Pugni (incorrectly spelled as 'Pouni' in the CD's accompanying booklet) (this is the 'White Pearl' variation from the so-called 'Underwater Scene' from "The Little Humpbacked Horse")

Track 29. 3/4 polonaise -by Minkus? (a variation with an elegant solo for violin in polonaise rhythm, which I believe comes from Petipa's 1892 revival of "Ondine", given at that time as "The Naiad and the Fisherman", and composed by Minkus for Anna Johannson) (Like the Delibes variation, Ive never seen this variation performed either in any peformance of the Pas. It is included in the Bonynge recording)

-up for question as well - the variation danced by Susan Jaffe in the ABT film "ABT at the Met: Mixed Bill"- I would love to know the origins of this variation, ANYONE KNOW?


track.22 -
according to an article by rodney stenning edgecombe in the dance mag. BROLGA (DEC. 05 ISSUE 23), the variation in e major in 3/4 time traditionally danced by the white pearl in the GRAND BALLABILE DES NEREIDS, which is usually credited to pugni from saint-leons KONIOK GORBUNOK (HUMPBACKED HORSE), was composed by minkus for anna johansson in his revival of perrots 'ONDINE OU LE NAIAD' in 1892. edgecombe goes on to explain that since minkus had already left to vienna by that time, its not likely minkus composed the solo especially for her but rather she took it from another work.

the variation referred to by the user solor in the original post of this thread that is danced by susan jaffe in in ABTs film of makarovas PAQUITA GRAND PAS CLASSIQUE is, as far as i know, by pugni, being taken from perrots LA ESMERALDA. in a piano score i have of the pugni/drigo music this variation is danced during the pas de quatre of act ii scene ii


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):