The CD “Ballets Russes” wants to pay tribute to the legendary Sergei Diaghilev, who founded this world famous ballet company in 1909. The visionary impresario Diaghilev managed to bring numerous genius dancers, designers, painters and composers together. Through this fruitful and unique collaboration the productions of the Ballets Russes revolutionised the early 20th century arts and continue to influence the cultural activity until today.
It is highly fascinating how thanks to his creative energy cultures and art forms blend together, and the aim of the CD “Ballets Russes” is to show how this fusion leads to enthralling enrichment and inspiration in music from the perspective of the dialogue between cello and piano.
The sonatas of Prokofjev and Poulenc, whose careers where launched by Diaghilev, are the key works on this recording. Written in the same year but in totally different circumstances, they both bear the typical Diaghilev characteristics of humour, fairy-tale colour palette and of course references to dance. Two charming small pieces by Poulenc, the recently discovered “Souvenirs” and the transcription the famous song “Les Chemins de l’Amour” create a truly Parisian Ballets Russes atmosphere. Borodin’s brilliant Polovtsian Dances, which were performed during the Ballets Russes seasons 827 times, give in its arrangement for cello and piano a glimpse into the heart of Diaghilev’s world. To conclude the recording, the virtuoso Concert Phantasy on Rimsky-Korsakoff’s opera “the Golden Cockerel” displays in its exotic and ravishing colourfulness all the main characters of the original fairy tale and thus offering Diaghilev’s last opera production in a nutshell.