PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY
In 1888, Ivan Vsevolozhsky, then Director of Imperial Theatres in Saint Petersburg, proposed The Sleeping Beauty to Tchaikovsky as the subject for a ballet. Tchaikovsky was immediately enthusiastic upon receiving the libretto, and replied in a letter: “I am delighted and enchanted beyond all description.” He wrote the score with a speed that was nearly improbable, masterfully weaving symphonic drama and sweeping melody to bring the magic and poetry of Charles Perrault’s original fairy tale to life. The ballet premiered in 1890 at the Mariinsky Theatre and was attended by Tsar Alexander III. This selection from Act I of the ballet, one of the most beloved and easily recognized waltzes in the world, precedes the arrival of Princess Aurora on her sixteenth birthday.
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