Stravinsky's Pulcinella

Haydn’s ebullient Symphony No. 88 sets the stage for Stravinsky’s charming Pulcinella. A rare treat to celebrate the New Year, hear Stravinsky’s complete ballet score, the music always running the line between elegant and whimsical and with brilliant features for the entire ensemble. Soprano, tenor, and baritone make this work absolutely sublime – a must-hear for those who only know the Suite.


Gallery talks presented by Joslyn curators at 1 and 1:25 p.m. prior to the concert.

Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917)
Little Dancer Aged Fourteen
c. 1920-21, from 1881 wax model, plaster and fabric
Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska
Gift of M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., N. Y., 1971.271

The Commedia dell’Arte had a considerable influence on the modernist imagination. This popular Italian theater genre comprised of stock characters in comic scenarios flourished throughout Europe from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, and it inspired nineteenth and twentieth-century experimentations in the visual and performing arts, music, and poetry. Commissioned by Sergei Diaghilev, the impresario of the Ballets Russes, Stravinksy’s Pulcinellais an inventive reinterpretation of an early eighteenth-century commedia dell’artelibretto and music. Combining forms that were old and new, refined and popular, humorous and serious, Stravinsky’s composition artfully captures the spirit of the Commedia.

Edgar Degas was also inspired by the juxtapositions inherent in the traditions of the Commedia dell’Arte, French pantomime, and classical ballet. Throughout his career, he produced approximately 1,500 depictions of dancers, attending as much to the spectacle of the ballet as the harsh realities of the lives of the performers. This dynamic is poignantly represented in a sculpture modeled after Maria van Goethem, a young student of the Paris Opera Ballet. The Little Dancer, Fourteen Years Old has become one of the most beloved works of art.


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