Les Ballets Russes Vol. 7

'Les Facheux' and 'La Pastorale'

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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.

Between 1924 and 1926, the young Georges Auric wrote two ballets for Diaghilev: Les Facheux (The Tormentors), and La Pastorale. Both works are regarded as his most important compositions for the ballet. For Les Facheux, the sets, costumes and curtains were designed by the famous painter Georges Braque. The ballet’s scenario tells of a young man who pursues his lover but is held again and again by various tormentors preventing him from explaining his affection. The libretto is by Boris Kochno based on a comedy-ballet by Molière.

La Pastorale was produced in 1926 and choreographed by George Balanchine. It would be Auric’s third and final ballet for Diaghilev. The ballet’s story revolves around the shooting of a film in the country and the tensions between villagers and film people.

Georges Auric was a prolific composer, but above all he was famous for his cinematic collaborations with Jean Cocteau in addition to composing scores for nearly 150 other films. With these two ballets, we have been provided a glimpse into the early days of the later famous film music composer Georges Auric. Neither work has been previously recorded, so this exceptional performances mark their recorded premiere!

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, 1.07 hrs, 2010.