Notes and Editorial Reviews
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Ten years after his death, the Paris Opera Ballet payed homage to the American choreographer who considered the Paris Opera as his second home after New York City Ballet. The three pieces performed here illustrate not only the diversity of the choreographer's repertoire and sources of inspiration, but also his love of music and his all-embracing attitude to the performing arts. Jerome Robbins brought new energy to classical dance, introducing 20th century urban rhythms, confirming its status as a modern entertainment form and instilling it with the interrogations of contemporary theatre. En Sol, set to Maurice Ravel's Concerto en sol,
follows no particular narrative line or dramatic effect. Echoing the music's jazzy invitations and light-heartedly copying Broadway style, this is a light and joyous piece for two soloists and an ensemble. It provided Jerome Robbins with an opportunity to reveal the relaxed, fluid feel so emblematic of his style.
In the Night and The Concert are two tributes to Frederic Chopin, each in a different register. Seeking to free the composer from the commonplaces that have often belittled his music, Robbins transforms Les Nocturnes into In the Night, a long and poetic pas de deux built like a metaphor of love in all its states. The Concert joins the ranks of the few comic ballets in the history of dance. Taking as its point of departure images inspired by some of Chopin’s more fancifully entitled scores, Jerome Robbins' piano recital is a comic plea for the cause of human vulnerability.
The fact that, at the very same period, he was contributing to the renewal of the musical by bringing a tragic side to his West Side Story, only underlines his insatiable thirst for originality and his immense talent for freely combining genres and styles. Lastly, Benjamin Millepied, who made his dance debut with Robbins in New York, dedicates his second creation for the Paris Opera Ballet, Triade, to the choreographer. "Dance is composed of human relations", Robbins used to say. A worthy heir to his master, Benjamin Millepied matches this credo through a fruitful dialogue with composer Nico Muhly.
Works on This Recording
Concerto for Piano in G major by Maurice Ravel
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1929-1931; France
Triade by Nico Muhly
Paris National Opera Orchestra
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