Grand Pas Glazunov
Hommage a Lucia
The Little Ballet
(Divertissements from Act II and Act III)
(Grand Pas Classique)
When Tchaikovsky died in 1893, Marius Petipa began to search out new sources for music for his ballets. One of the composers to whom he turned was Alexander Glazunov, who was not yet thirty, but who had been one of the most precocious protégés of Rimsky-Korsakov and who already enjoyed a considerable international reputation. The results of their collaboration were three ballets: the three-act Raymonda in 1898, Glazunov’s first work for the theatre, and The Seasons and Les Ruses d’Amour, both in 1900, after which Glazunov composed nothing else for the theatre.
He was born in St. Petersburg in 1865 to a fairly well-to-do family. He showed early musical ability and by the time he was sixteen he was already a proficient composer whose first symphony was performed that year by Balakirev.
From 1884, helped to some extent by Franz Liszt, he began to make a name outside Russia; his first symphony was played in Weimar that year. In 1889, he appeared as a conductor at the Paris Exhibition and in 1897, he conducted his fourth and fifth symphonies in London.
In 1900, he became a professor at the St. Petersburg Conservatory and in 1906 was appointed its director.
Glazunov was of a deeply conservative nature, and his conservatism grew with the years. He continued in his position of director of the conservatory composing within the accepted rules of symphonic form, and viewing with less and less sympathy any new musical developments. He survived the Revolution to find his music denounced as “bourgeois”, and, in 1928, he left the Soviet Union to make his home in Paris where he died in 1936.
Of his many works perhaps the most famous are: for orchestra, the Symphony No. 6 in
C Minor, Op. 58; for solo instruments, the Theme and Variations for Piano Forte, Op. 72, and the Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 73; and for the stage, Raymonda, Op. 57.
The Raymonda score, with its warmth and lyricism, its eloquent melodic line and its sure sense of balletic structure which enhances, indeed embellishes, the choreography, is one of Glazunov’s most distinguished compositions.