3 July 2007
MASSINE, Léonide (1895-1979). Autograph ballet score entitled 'Symphonie chorergraphique [sic]', Isole dei Galli, 18 September 1932, comprising choreographic notation with (on four pages) musical notation, 12 pages, folio (slight fraying in top and bottom edges).
A ballet project composed while Massine was Artistic Director of Colonel Wassily de Basil's Ballets russes de Monte Carlo. The manuscript is in four parts, marked 'Adagio' (bars numbered 1-43), 'Andante Amoroso' (bars numbered 1-48), 'Allegro con Brio' (1-54) continuing into 'Allegro con Presto' (55-69), and followed by bars numbered 90-94.
Massine's innovatory and purely abstract 'symphonic' ballets were composed during the 1930s; the best known were Les Présages, set to Tchaikovsky's fifth symphony and Choreartium, set to Brahms' fourth symphony in E minor, both of them substantial works and first performed in 1933. The present manuscript, a shorter work, was perhaps intended as a sketch or divertissement.
It was written at Massine's retreat, Isole dei Galli, consisting of three tiny islands off Positano which he bought in 1921-22 during his marriage to Vera Savina (it was later bought by Nureyev). Massine and his wife were there from July to October in 1932, between the performances of The Miracle in Paris, and his preparations for the 1933 season of the Ballets russes at Monte Carlo.
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