Les Ballets Russes Vol. 5

'The Three-Cornered Hat' and 'Chout'

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For 20 years from 1909 to 1929, the Russian impresario Serge Diaghilev and his Russian ballet staged one of the 20th century’s most incredible artistic adventures, redefining theatre, music and dance in every performance.

When de Falla wrote The Three-Cornered Hat in 1916-1919 (after a story by Pedro Antonio de Alarcón), he was already a well-known composer. The first version developed as a pantomime – Diaghilev saw this version in Madrid and was enthusiastic. He commissioned de Falla to develop his score into a ballet, and when the First World War came to an end, de Falla presented Diaghilev with his finished score. The ballet was first performed in 1919 in London, conducted by Ernest Ansermet, with set designs and costumes by Pablo Picasso – it was his first work designing for a ballet. The final score was a marvelous work, one of de Falla’s most beautiful and it is presented here in its entirety.

Prokofiev’s Chout (The Buffoon) received its first performance in Paris in 1921, where it was well-received. The score, calling for a large orchestra, is richly melodic, and has a typical Russian folkloric quality as well as the burlesque elements that would appear in many of Prokofiev’s most famous works.

Haenssler CLASSIC’s Ballets Russes series is unrivaled for completeness and includes many works never before recorded. Each booklet includes historic details of the works performance and artwork from the original productions. World-renowned choreographer John Neumeier has overseen the production of the entire series.

Available on CD and MP3 download, 1.16 hrs, 2009.