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August 16 , 2007

Minor Ballet Composers

Biographical Sketches of Sixty-Six Underappreciated Yet Significant Contributors to the Body of West


While most music lovers are familiar with the famous scores of Tchaikovsky, Delibes, and Stravinsky, many other lesser-known composers also wrote for the ballet. Several of these composers wrote almost exclusively for the ballet – and all enriched the world of dance. Minor Ballet Composers presents biographical sketches of 66 underappreciated ballet composers of the 19th and 20th centuries from around the world, along with selected stories from the ballets they helped create.

While the composers’contributions to ballet music are emphasized, all aspects of their lives and works are touched upon. Plot summaries and excerpts from reviews of many of the ballets are also provided. Other topics of interest you’ll find covered in Minor Ballet Composers include:
  • Les Six: Darius Milhaud, Louis Durey, Georges Auric, Arthur Honegger, Francis Poulenc, and Germaine Tailleferre – and their relationship with Erik Satie and Jean Cocteau
  • how politics, revolutions, and wars have affected composers and their works
  • who studied with whom; who collaborated with whom
  • schools, movements, and musical renaissance
  • the importance of opera to ballet music
  • the relationship between film scores and ballet music
  • which books, plays, stories, and folk tales certain ballets are based upon
  • where many of these ballets premiered

    Minor Ballet Composers emphasizes the importance of second-tier composers and their influence on the rich tradition of music written for the dance (though in some cases the music was appropriated for the ballet from other original designs). The gathering of these composers in a single volume in appreciation of their ballet music, with a glossary of choreographers and an index of ballet titles, makes this book a useful volume for ballet aficionados, music librarians, musicians, and others interested in dance and dance music.
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