Sunday morning music


In all my previous classical music selections, I’ve tried to choose works or pieces that were relatively short, so they fit into the limited attention spans of most of us on the Internet – generally not seen as a medium for long, uninterrupted listening to music.  However, some musical works demand a visual as well as an auditory experience to be fully appreciated;  and they’re seldom short.

In that category I include one of my favorite ballets, Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.  I’ve loved it ever since I heard an orchestral suite from it in my youth, and I’ve seen it half a dozen times over the years, most memorably in London, England a long time ago.

Here’s the whole thing, as performed by the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad, Russia (that was its Soviet-era name, by which it’s still called, but it’s since been officially renamed the Mariinsky Ballet).  It’s been in existence for almost 300 years, giving it a priceless tradition and an enormously rich musical and balletic heritage.  I hope you have (or can make) time to watch and listen to the entire performance.  It’s worth it.

Musical artistry in motion.



  1. Ah, Swan Lake, the summit of classical ballet. Look for a version with Uliana Lopatkina, most majestic Odette.

    I am particularly fond of Don Quixote when Natalia Osipova dances Kitri – the prospect of seeing her live make me do my first international trip alone to see ballet.

  2. I remember a story that a pro football team (Pittsburgh?) tried to keep up with the local ballet company's workout and could not maintain their level of aerobic activity. This was from years ago, so I have no idea if it is true.
    Even if it isn't true, it does make a good story…

  3. @libertyman, pro ballet dancers have on average a higher pain threshold than general population. Seems those pointe shoes really hurt a lot. There have been even cases of a ballerina ending an act with a broken foot.

    I have read that the main difference between dancing ballet and dancing jazz is that in the former, the dancers make a convincing case of gravity having not effect on them, while in jazz, gravity exists and the dancer fights strenously against it.

    Here is a masterful performance by the young Ms. Osipova

    Music should be familiar, have been used in some TV ads.

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