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Jane Jones takes us on a magical trip to the ballet, with music from Tchaikovsky, Handel and Khachaturian - and some tales from Beatrix Potter.
On tonight’s Full Works Concert, there's a feast of ballet music as Jane Jones marks the anniversary of the premiere of Tchaikovsky's ballet score for The Sleeping Beauty, first performed 125 years ago in St Petersburg. The second of Tchaikovsky's ballets - and his longest at four hours - it has become one of the most famous and popular ballets in the repertoire. At the premiere though, Russia's Tsar Alexander III summoned Tchaikovsky and said, 'Very nice', which seemed to have irritated the composer who was expecting something more effusive. By 1903, ten years after Tchaikovsky's death, The Sleeping Beauty was the second most popular ballet in the repertory of the Imperial Ballet, having been performed 200 times. But it was not until 1921 that, in London, the ballet finally gained wide acclaim and eventually a permanent place in the classical repertoire.
Handel is not a composer normally associated with dance music but tonight we play his score of ballet music from Alcina, and we revisit a childhood favorite: John Lanchbery’s charming Tales of Beatrix Potter, performed by the Royal Opera House orchestra.
Tchaikovsky: The Sleeping Beauty Suite
Alexander Lazarev conducts the Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra
Handel: Alicna - Ballet Music
John Eliot Gardiner conducts the English Baroque Soloists
Lanchbery: Tales of Beatrix Potter
John Lanchbery conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Khachaturian: Gayaneh - Ballet Suite
Loris Tjeknavorian conducts the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra