Coupled with Movements for Piano and Orchestra in performance, this streamlined leotard ballet arrests viewers with its formal beauty and simplicity.
The music for Monumentum Pro Gesualdo was composed to honor the 400th birthday of Don Carlo Gesualdo (1560-1613), the 16th century’s most chromatic – and having been suspected of murder, most scandalous – composer. The score was first performed on September 27, 1960 at the 23rd Venice Music Festival at La Fenice with Stravinsky conducting. Lincoln Kirstein has said that these short pieces, danced by a principal couple and six supporting couples, evoke “the deliberate, almost sinister gravity and fatality shadowing court dances performed in the lifetime of this prince of madrigalists and murderers.”
View a slideshow of images from Monumentum pro Gesualdo >