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Posts posted by Sebastian

  1. 10 hours ago, Anna C said:

    This is another reason why I much prefer the more mature Gremins of Bennet Gartside and Gary Avis.  I don’t know how much older than Tatiana Gremin is supposed to be (apologies for grammar, neither way seemed right) but it just makes so much more sense for there to be quite an age gap between the two.  


    This has been discussed before but if one goes by the text of the novel, Olga is 19, Tatiana 20, Onegin 26, and Lensky 18 when we first see them. Four years later we have the ball where Tatiana is married to Prince Gremin: he shares memories of their youthful pranks and adventures with Onegin (who by then is 30). This makes Gremin maybe a bit older (nobody says exactly by how much), maybe something like 35-40. So perhaps a ten year gap or so between him and Tatiana.

    Tchaikovsky on the other hand needed a lower voice for the operatic Gremin, so people usually assume he is much older.

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  2. 2 minutes ago, Jan McNulty said:

    I think the Cranko Estate does not permit live screenings.  


    No idea what the situation is now but in 2004 London had a live screening of the Royal Ballet dancing Onegin, see here:-




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  3. 12 minutes ago, Angela said:

    I'm not so firm in the different Russian readings of "Eugene Onegin", but I think if you doubt even these words of Tatyana and her love for him, you have to read the whole book in a very cynical manner.  I think Pushkin's hero is a very ambiguous character, purposely open to many different interpretations, and of of them is Cranko's Onegin. Haughty and ignorant, or just absent and distracted, absorbed in his inner conflict? Can he feel love or is it just delusion? "Bliss was so near", says Tatyana in stanza XLVII, I always thought these words are a key to Cranko's interpretation.

    In Pushkin's stanza XLVI, by the way, we also find Tatyana's words how unhappy she is as a princess in St. Petersburg.


    Very nicely put Angela. The book has the greatest spread of interpretative translations of any I know. If one checks the (many and various) versions of the poem in English - including the extraordinary one by Nabokov, so different to all others - one can see the considerable variety of meaning contained in Pushkin's work.


    Beware all those, like myself, who don't have enough Russian to read the original in all its glory. Here for example is Kasper Holten - formerly of the ROH - on the challenge in relation to the opera:-



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  4. This announcement of an upcoming exhibition and associated events is perhaps of interest. A leading figure in Austrian musical society, Arnold Rosé led the Vienna Philharmonic but was forced to live out his days in exile in London; Alma led the Women’s Orchestra of Auschwitz and perished in the camp. One of the events is an evening with Anita Lasker Wallfisch, the ‘cellist of Auschwitz’.


    More here:




  5. As the person who asked the question at the Insight evening about Tchaikovsky's metronome markings, might it help if I added some detail? We know about Tchaikovsky's and Petipa's intentions from the always impeccably researched and argued historiography of Prof Roland Wiley. In the notes to his wonderful book "Tchaikovsky's Ballets: Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker" he tells us what we need to know.


    Wiley examined a number of primary sources in the early 1980s, including the holograph score and the reduced rehearsal score for two violins (which has since disappeared). He argues convincingly that the numerous tempo markings he found derive, not from the time Tchaikovsky was composing the music, but later, from the period when Tchaikovsky and Petipa were rehearsing the work in the run-up to the first performance, and possibly yet later still. So the markings can be taken as an indication of the speeds the dancers of the time were performing to.


    Musicologists are likely to continue to argue about individual tempi but the current general view is that, at least as regards late works such as Sleeping Beauty, Tchaikovsky's metronome markings can be relied on. In any case such records as exist about Sleeping Beauty are reproduced by Wiley in his Appendix E. There is nothing for the Prologue but many metronome markings for the rest of the ballet. Well worth examining with a copy of the score and a metronome. 


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