Tchaikovsky's Ballets: Swan Lake , Sleeping Beauty , Nutcracker

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Tchaikovsky's Ballets combines analysis of the music of Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and Nutcracker with a description based on rare and not easily accessible documents of the first productions of these works in imperial Russia. Essential background concerning the ballet audience, the collaboration of composer and ballet-master, and Moscow in the 1860s leads into an account of the first production of Swan Lake in 1877. A discussion of the theatre reforms initiated by Ivan Vsevolozhsky, Director of the Imperial Theatres and Tchaikovsky's patron, prepares us for a study of the still-famous 1890 production of Sleeping Beauty, Tchaikovsky's first collaboration with the choreographer Marius Petipa. Professor Wiley then explains how Nutcracker, which followed two years after Sleeping Beauty, was seen by its producers and audiences in a much less favourable light in 1882 than it is now. The final chapter discusses the celebrated revival of Swan Lake in 1985 by Petipa and Leve Ivanov.