Delibes – Ballet suite from Sylvia

Ballet Suite from Sylvia (1876)

Léo Delibes (1836 – 1891)

  1. Prelude – Les Chasseresses (The Huntresses)
  2. Pizzicati
  3. Cortège de Bacchus

The French composer Léo Delibes is best known for his ballet Coppélia and the famous Flower Duet from his opera Lakmé. His lesser known ballet Sylvia revolutionised ballet by having a strong female lead instead of the traditional limpid nymph or fairy. Sylvia is a powerful huntress who tangles with the gods Orion and Eros and is in love with the shepherd Aminta.

The majestic Prelude features horn calls and pastoral strings to accompany the first entry of Sylvia and her fellow huntresses. Pizzicati hints at Eros’s disguise as a pirate, whilst the Cortege of Bacchus celebrates Bacchus whilst trying to outdo the grandeur of Verdi’s March from Aida from a few years earlier!

Performed: May/June 2016

 

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