A carefully-woven masterpiece of geometry and ingenuity, Stravinsky Violin Concerto is a work of symmetry and order on the outside, but the pair of orchestral arias at its core provides the inspiration for two of Balanchine's most unique pas de deux.
This score was composed in 1931, and for the premiere Igor Stravinsky conducted, with Samuel Dushkin as the violin soloist. In writing the score, Stravinsky collaborated closely with Dushkin who provided technical details about the violin, with both of them making fascinating discoveries about its possibilities. The score was first used by Balanchine in a wholly different version, for the Original Ballet Russe in 1941, under the title of Balustrade, with beautiful costumes and scenery by Pavel Tchelitchev. When Balanchine returned to this score three decades later he could no longer remember his original choreography. “What I did then was for then,” he said “and I wanted to do this music for our Stravinsky Festival.” The ballet premiered on the opening night of the 1972 Stravinsky Festival, which also included the premiere of Balanchine’s Symphony in Three Movements.
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