Notes and Editorial Reviews
n 1948 Léonide Massine mounted for the Royal Danish Ballet a version of his famous 1936 ballet,
Symphonie Fantastique, based on the symphony by Hector Berlioz. A “work film” was made at that time, shot without sound and showing the dancers in practice dress. This DVD presents that work film synchronized to Liszt’s piano transcription of the Berlioz work played by William Hicks.
Ballet fans will notice the cast includes Erik Bruhn, Toni Lander, and Stanley Williams, all at the beginning of their careers. 52 min., B&W, English subtitles, 4:3, mono, All regions.
Choreographed by Léonide Massine
Performed by the Royal Danish Ballet • 1948
Berlioz’s original program notes for the symphony, the ballet traces a “journey of the mind” taken by a young musician, despondent in love, who tries to commit suicide by taking opium. The dose is too weak to cause death, but it puts him into a delirium of dreams and visions.
The Musician: Niels Bjørn Larsen
The Beloved: Mona Vangsaae
With Flemming Beck, Fredbjørn Bjørnson, Erik Bruhn, Kirsten Elsass, Henning Kronstam, Toni Pihl (Lander), Kirsten Ralov, Inge Sand, Frank Schaufuss, Stanley Williams and artists of the Royal Danish Ballet
Music synchronized by Niels Bjørn Larsen Assisted by John Mueller and Christopher McCormack
Consultant: Tatiana Orlova Massine
Pianist: William Hicks
Sound: Neelon Crawford • DVD authoring: Shawn Hove
Producer: John Mueller
Works on This Recording
Symphonie fantastique (Berlioz), S 470 by Franz Liszt
William Hicks (Piano)
Written: 1833; Paris, France
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