Emeralds floats at Fauré's mesmerizing pace, evoking an underwater setting with delicate and pliable movement.
The music for Emeralds, the first section of George Balanchine's three-part masterpiece Jewels, is taken from the respective concert suites Gabriel Fauré derived from the incidental music he composed in 1889 for Edmond Haraucourt's Shylock, a French verse adaptation of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, and in 1898 for Maurice Maeterlinck’s Pelléas et Mélisande. The order of the numbers used and their sources are as follows: "Prélude," "Fileuse," "Sicilienne"; (all from Pelléas et Mélisande), "Entr’acte," "Nocturne," "Epithalame," "Final"; (all from Shylock), and "La Mort de Mélisande" (from Pelléas et Mélisande). Balanchine added the "Nocturne" pas de deux and the final pas de sept in 1976.
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