Music and Ballet

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Белгородское медицинское училище


Реферат по английскому языку.

Тема: «Music and ballet».

Выполнила студентка 24-й группыСеликова Т.

г. Белгород

2001 г.


It was Mikhail Glinka (1804 — 1857) who laid the foundation for modern Russian music. After three years of study in Italy, he began to suffer from the wish to hear music expressing the temperament of his own people. His two best-known operas, Ivan Susanin and Ruslan and Lyudmila, were based on Russian folklore and historical legend.

Glinka’s works inspired a group of five younger composers who emerged as an extraordinary musical phenomenon in the late nineteenth century: Miliy Balakirev (1836 — 1910), Alexander Borodin (1833 — 1887), Modest Mussorgsky (1839 — 1881), Caesar Cui (1835 — 1918), and Nicholai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844 — 1908).


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 — 1893) the best-known of all Russian composers, gave up a position in the civil service at the age of twenty-three to devote himself entirely to music, much against the wishes of his father. After completing his studies at St Peterburg Conservatoire, he set out for Moscow in 1866 to take up a Teaching post.

His financial circumstances took a turn for the better in 1877 when he acquired a wealthy patroness, Nadezhda Filaretovna von Meck, who for the next fourteen years was to support him. By 1878 he had already composed the music for the ballet Swan Lake and one of his most famous operas , Eugene Onegin. These were followed by the opera The Queen of Spades (1890) and the ballets Sleeping Beauty (1889) and The Nutcracker (1892). Now internationally famous, he spent much of his time travelling around abroad to hear his works performed.


Tchaikovsky was followed by his pupil Sergei Taneyev (1856 — 1915), who in his turn taught Sergei Rachmaninov (1873—1943), the great pianist and composer, Alexander Scryabin (1872 — 1915) and Rein-gold Gliere (1875 — 1956). Another composer, Alexander Glazunov (1865 — 1936), had an important influence on the new generation of Russian composers during his time as a teacher and director of the St Petersburg Conservatoire, before he left Russia for France in 1928.


Igor Stravinsky was in his middle twenties when he met Sergei Diaghilev, the celebrated impressario of the Ballets Russes and went with him to Paris. In his works, particularly in the ballets Firebird and Petrushka, he was inspired by the Russian folk music. Stravinsky became a French citizen in 1934,but during the Second World War he moved to the United States.


Like many other composers of the younger generation, Sergei Prokofiev (1891 — 1953) and Dmitry Shostakovich (1906—1975) owed a debt to Glazunov. He persuaded Prokofiev’s father to send him to the Conservatoire to develop his musical talent, and defended young Shostakovich’s right to a scholarship there.

In the thirties, along with Prokofiev and others, Shostakovich fell into disgrace for “ideological deficiencies” and for a number of years almost all his works were banned and not performed in public.

Another Russian composer of the twentieth century to gain wide international popularity, is Aram Khachaturian (1903 — 1978), whose works include symphonies, ballet music and concertos for piano, violin and violoncello. One of his most famous works is the ballet Spartacus.


It was a Frenchman, Marius Petipa (1819 — 1910), who laid the foundation of Russian dance and influenced the development of classical ballet in Russia in the nineteenth century. Petipa cooperated with Tchaikovsky on The Sleeping Beautu and The Nutcracker.He himself created 57 full-length ballets, and directed 17 revivals.

In 1909 Russian ballet suddenly burst upon Europe, when Sergei Diaghilev, the brilliant producer, and Mikhail Fokine, a leading choreographer, took a company of dancers from the Imperial School of it Petersburg to Paris. His Ballets Russeswere wonderful productions with colorful sets designed by some of Russia's finest artists, such as Alexander Benois and Lev Bakst, but the greatest sensation were the male dancers, Vazlav Nijinsky and Sergei Lifar.

After the Revolution ballet schools throughout the Soviet Union received strong