NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester / Pablo Heras-Casado
Strawinsky in Hamburg
Stravinsky's 1928 ballet »Apollon Musagète« came at the end of his collaboration with the NDR, which stretched over the years 1958 to 1965. In 1965 it was decided to make a new production of the ballet for television. The 83-year-old Stravinsky recorded the score together with the NDR Symphony Orchestra, and this recording was then combined with the famous choreography by George Balanchine. In this way, music and dance were united anew in September 1965, 37 years after the first performance. It was to be Stravinsky's last appearance as a conductor in Germany.
»Perséphone« is a large-scale melodrama in three parts for an actress who speaks her part rather than singing it. Stravinsky wrote the piece for the great dancer, tragic actress and mime artist Ida Rubinstein, whose company gave the work its first performance in April 1934 at the Opéra Garnier in Paris. It is one of the more rarely-played of the composer's works, but it is also one of the most important for his neoclassicist phase, which came to an end with his 1951 opera »The Rake's Progress«.
It was a performance of »Perséphone« in the late 1950's that marked the beginning of the focus on Stravinsky in the NDR programmes, a focus that was to last for many years. The Hamburg premiere of »Perséphone« in the Laeiszhalle in 1957 was the NDR's musical congratulation for Stravinsky on his 75th birthday. Shortly afterwards, the NDR agreed to bring in the composer for the first time to conduct the NDR Symphony Orchestra in performances of his own works.
NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester
MDR Rundfunkchor Leipzig
Benjamin Bruns tenor
Pauline Cheviller narrator
conductor Pablo Heras-Casado
Apollon musagète / Ballet en deux tableaux
Perséphone / Melodrama in drei Teilen von André Gide
Stravinsky in Hamburg