Tansman: Ballet Music

Album cover art for upc 761203798728
Label: CPO
Catalog: 777987-2
Format: CD

Borowicz, Lukasz; Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Michniewski, Wojciech

The stage had fascinated Alexander Tansman ever since his youth. One example is the music for Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, which was performed at the Polish Theater in Lódz in 1916. Alexandre Arnoux wrote the librettos for the ballets Sextuor and Bric à brac. The atmosphere of his novella Sextuor recalls E. T. A. Hoffmann’s romantic narratives. It is the dramatic love story of the passion shared by a violin and a violoncello for a flute. The actors are various musical instruments, and Tansman believed that here he had found ideal material for a ballet. And so it was: the work composed in 1923 was performed with great international success and made the young composer famous. Although he suffered a great loss when his mother died in 1935, Tansman found the strength to write a larger theatrical work. The result was the ballet Bric à brac. The director of the Grand Opéra in Paris wanted this ballet set between stalls of wood and corrugated iron at a flea market near the Porte de Clignancourt for a premiere during the 1939 / 40 season. However, the outbreak of World War II thwarted these plans. After long negotiations the work finally premiered on 30 November 1958.

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