When Tchaikovsky encountered a French telling of the fairytale Sleeping Beauty, it set the composer’s imagination alight. He promptly persuaded the Imperial Ballet in St Petersburg to alter the terms of its latest commission and take a ballet on this story instead.
The result is often described as the greatest ballet score ever written. From a story ostensibly for children, Tchaikovsky created a parable of birth, death and rebirth that manages to be as sophisticated as it is scintillating – a showcase for the capabilities of a symphony orchestra in which fastidious attention to detail does as much for the art of theatre as for that of music.
The music for Sleeping Beauty has it all: pomp, ceremony, humour, magic and symphonic refinement. Edward Gardner conducts his own compilation of music from Tchaikovsky’s score here, having been joined by Sonoko Miriam Welde for another radiant song of love: the violin concerto by Max Bruch in which a single instrument floats, battles and rhapsodizes against a supporting and cajoling orchestra.
Photo: Nadia Norskott
The original soloist for this tour was Nicola Benedetti. The change was published on 14 September 2022. The programme remains unchanged.