Astor Piazzolla: The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires
Manuel de Falla: El Sombrero De Tres Picos (The Three Cornered Hat) – Complete Ballet
An entire night of Spanish and South American music, lots of dance, sunshine, distant lands, love, rhythm and passion. The featured composers have in common that all three of them spoke Spanish as their mother-tongue; all three of them worked in the 20th century. In fact, Piazzolla was Ginastera's student. Estancia is about a love story set on a ranch in the Argentinian Pampas, while Piazzolla’s Four Seasons in Buenos Aires dance across the seasons in a metropolis. De Falla’s ballet relates the story of an affair in Spain.
The featured composers have in common that all three of them spoke Spanish as their mother-tongue; all three of them worked in the 20th century. In fact, Piazzolla was Ginastera's student.
The term Estancia corresponds to the English term "ranch", and the title refers to the fact that the originally one-act ballet relates a love story set on an Argentinian ranch: a young man from the city finds himself in the Wild West and falls in love with a local girl. The five scenes of the ballet are set at the five times of day from dawn tonight. Ginastera vividly depicts the world of the pampas and their dances. The suite based on the ballet contains four dances; in our words, it turns the ballet plot into a kind of symphony.
The rhythmic, dancey atmosphere of South America escalates in Astor Piazzolla's worldwide celebrated composition. The master exploits the eternal cycles of the four seasons, nature and dance and reflects on – with some irony on occasion – the other music hit with the same title: Vivaldi's Four Seasons. For instance, when in the middle of the Buenos Aires summer, the second movement of Vivaldi’s Winter pops up, as in the southern hemisphere, summer months are, in fact, European winter months.
Manuel de Falla's ballet is set in Europe and was originally commissioned by Sergey Diaghilev's ballet troupe. The story based on a farce was written in 1919, and at its premiere, all costumes were designed by none other than Picasso. In brief, the plot focuses on the magistrate (the three-cornered hat is a status symbol in this case) who wants to seduce the miller's pretty wife, but she tricks him and leads him on with her dance until he falls into the river. The ballet is relatively rarely staged as a ballet, and mostly only excerpts are played from it at concerts. This time, however, our audience can enjoy it in an unabridged version.
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