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Masterpieces Of The British Ballet - Checkmate & The Rake's Progress

Bliss / Gordon / Sadler Wells Royal Ballet
Release Date: 09/26/2006 
Label:  Video Artists International   Catalog #: 4379  
Composer:  Sir Arthur BlissGavin Gordon
Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sadlers Wells Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Two masterpieces of twentieth-century British ballet danced by the Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet. Created for the Vic-Wells Ballet in the 1930s by founder-choreographer Ninette de Valois, Checkmate and The Rake’s Progress remain cornerstones of the British ballet repertoire. The scores, by Sir Arthur Bliss and Gavin Gordon, respectively, are here performed by the Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet Orchestra under the direction of Barry Wordsworth. Filmed in 1982 at Sadler’s Wells Theater, London. Color, 87 min., 1982, Color.

CHECKMATE
A Ballet in One Act with Prologue
Music: Sir Arthur Bliss
Choreography: Dame Ninette de Valois

Checkmate, one of the pillars of contemporary British ballet, was
Read more created in 1937 by choreographer Ninette de Valois (1898-2001) in response to an idea by composer Sir Arthur Bliss (1891-1975). It remained in the repertoire for more than four decades and is still regularly revived. The ballet portrays a game of love and death, played according to rules of chess. It is won by the Black Queen who first captures the Red Queen, then defeats the Red Knight, and finally delivers the Red King to her warriors.

Cast:
The Black Queen: Margaret Barbieri
The Red Knight: David Ashmole
The Red King: David Bintley
The Red Queen: Sherilyn Kennedy
Second Red Knight: Michael Corder
First Black Knight: Roland Price
Second Black Knight: Nicholas Millington

THE RAKE’S PROGRESS
A Ballet in Six Scenes
Music and Scenario: Gavin Gordon
Choreography: Dame Ninette de Valois

The Rake’s Progress, which premiered in 1935, is one of the first classics of the native English school of ballet. The work’s creator, Ninette de Valois, called the ballet her “Homage to Hogarth,” a reference to the brilliant caricaturist whose paintings inspired her choreography. The music is by Gavin Gordon (1901-1970), who also wrote the scenario based on Hogarth’s drawings. They portray the swift fall of a young man who squanders his newly inherited fortune in brothels and gambling dens and is ultimately cast into Bedlam, London’s notorious madhouse, where, wasted by disease and consumed by remorse, he ends his days.

Cast:
The Rake: David Morse
The Betrayed Girl: Nicola Katrak
The Dancing Master: Kim Reeder
Man with a Rope: David Bintley
The Rake’s Friend/A Card Player: Michael Corder
Betrayed Girl’s Mother: Susan Crow
The Dancer: Chenca Williams
The Ballad Singer: Siobhan Stanley
Music & Scenario by Gavin Gordon

Dancers of the Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet
Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet Orchestra / Barry Wordsworth, conductor
Filmed in 1982 at Sadler’s Wells Theater, London
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Works on This Recording

1.
Checkmate, F 2 by Sir Arthur Bliss
Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sadlers Wells Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937; England 
2.
The Rake's Progress Ballet Music by Gavin Gordon
Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sadlers Wells Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 

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