* You are viewing the archive for May, 2011

Three Movies about the World of Ballet

Ludwig Minkus (1826 - 1917)

Some beautiful music is composed for ballet. Oddly, as Eliza Gaynor Minden writes in her book The Ballet Companion, “ballet music” was once a pejorative term. The implication, in the minds of some, was that the composer wasn’t good enough to write music that could stand on its own as a work of art, so he had to settle for something that the real artists could choreograph for and dance to!

Yet surely composers such as Léo Délibes, … Continue Reading

Mozart and Salieri: Not Characters in a Movie

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Alain Gheerbrant, a Frenchman who explored the Amazon and wrote about his experiences there in The Impossible Adventure (1955), told an incidental story that bears on Mozart’s appeal.

Gheerbrant says that when he and his companions entered a certain village inhabited by Maquiritare Indians in northern Brazil, they had a lot of difficulty encouraging the locals to trust and interact with them. So the Frenchmen stayed in the village clearing, and began to play various records on their gramophone. Most of their … Continue Reading