Thursday, 25 June 2015

Ibert's 'La ballade de la geôle de Reading'

Iacques Ibert La ballade de la geole de Reading
Jacques Ibert's symphonic poem La ballade de la geôle de Reading will receive its UK premiered on 29 June 2015, 93 years after the work was written. Based on the Oscar Wilde poem, Ibert's work will be performed by the Kensington Symphony Orchestra, conductor Russell Keable at St John's Smith Square on Monday 29 June 2015. Sections of Wilde's poem, translated into French, head the different sections of the score and Ibert's intention was to convey the humanitarian message of the poem with its moving account of the harsh prison atmosphere. The work was used as a ballet in 1937!

Also in the programme is a another pair rarely performed French ballets, the Fanfare to Paul Dukas' La Peri (from 1912) and Albert Roussel's complete ballet Bacchus and Ariadne (from 1930). Paul Dukas' ballet was originally commissioned by Diaghilev but did not go ahead be Diaghilev did not think the dancer creating the role of La Peri was strong enough. She was, I think, Dukas' mistress and the ballet eventually went ahead without Diaghilev's company but still with her dancing. Albert Roussel's ballet was premiered in 1931 at the Paris Opera with choreography by Serge Lifar, Diaghilev's last lover.

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