Bernstein, Leonard / Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake Ballet Suite
Album: Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake Ballet Suite   Collection:Classical 12"
Artist:Bernstein, Leonard   Added:May 2012
Label:Columbia Records (Original Vinyl)  

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2012-05-26 Pull Date: 2012-07-29 Charts: Classical/Experimental
Week Ending: Jul 8 Jun 17 Jun 10 Jun 3
Airplays: 1 1 1 1

Recent Airplay
1. Jul 02, 2012: Down Here on th' Farm
(10:08) Black Swan Pas De Deux
3. Jun 08, 2012: Down Here on th' Farm
(1:28) The Little Swans
2. Jun 13, 2012: The Sunset Life
(10:08) Black Swan Pas De Deux
4. May 31, 2012: Nathin' To Do - Soft Shoulders
(2:03) Variation

Album Review
Hawkeye Joe
Reviewed 2012-06-05
Ah, Spring! Midterms, finals, then graduation(?) Gorgeous seasonal blossoms dispersing pollen into the breeze. Beautiful students of all ages toodling around the university. Gypsy moths fluttering around every oak tree, and of course, this classic ballet, and possibly the composer's most popular work. There are telling quotes from conductor Bernstein in the liner notes: "...the ballet is also full of dances that have almost nothing to do with the story..." However, these are what make this piece so magnificent. IMO, Tchaikovsky had his ears open to the styles of the day, and incorporated these theme/dances into "Swan Lake".
side 1:
1) Act III Opening (2:41) This is a fanfare, so it's uptempo & rather stirring.Good for intros/entrances of all sorts.
2) Hungarian Dance (2:46) Starts off slow, and then whips itself (and you) into a frenzy.
3) Spanish Dance (2:43) mid tempo dance progresses to another frenzied finish.
4) Neapolitan Dance (2:12) This dance has an almost comic slow start, followed by a full orchestral onslaught that has a great flourish at the end, as opposed to a frenzied finish.
5) Mazurka (4:20) Relentless percussion is the backbone of this cut, and one could invent one's own style of dance moves for this selection, so mellifluous is the arrangement.
6) Black Swan Pas De Deux (10:08) A long piece that runs the gamut from slow and soft to forte and thorough. Reflective, time-tested selection that's undoubtedly counted amongst the composer's "Greatest Hits".
side 2:
1) Act II Opening (2:54) This theme is one of the best known "classical riffs". Slow to mid tempo haunting, distinctive tune, probably best known for its use in the original Dracula movie, and many other creative bits.
Dance of the Swans
2) Waltz (2:35) Despite the somber overtones, this is a rather light-hearted dance, almost as if Tchaikovsky was poking fun at the Strauss family.
3) Variation (2:03) starts slow, then progresses into a tumultuous finish.
4) The Little Swans (1:28) The other "Big Hit" from this ballet, most notably covered by groups as diverse as Perry & Kingsley and the Swan Lake Six ("Big Hits of Mid America Vol 3" coll). A brief, but delightful semi-comic foray.
5) Pas De Deux (7:03) Is it me, or did Ren and Stimpy use this for a few of their cartoons? Be that as it may or may not, this is an energetic piece, and despite a few light-hearted moments, is a seriously important dance in the history of music.
6) Waltz (1:33) Bombastic shot (I'm sure of it) at the Strauss-type waltzes of the day.
7) Coda (1:29) Frantic, full-on orchestral chase our hero and heroine beat the villains to the punch and save the day! Spring has sprung, and it's SPROINGY!!
Hawkeye Joe

Track Listing
1. Side 1. (2:41) Act Iii Opening   7. Side 2. (2:54) Act Ii Opening
2. (2:46) Hungarian Dance   8. (2:35) Waltz
3. (2:43) Spanish Dance   9. (2:03) Variation
4. (2:12) Neapolitan Dance   10. (1:28) The Little Swans
5. (4:20) Mazurka   11. (7:03) Pas De Deux
6. (10:08) Black Swan Pas De Deux   12. (1:33) Waltz
  13. (1:29) Coda