PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY
In 1888, Ivan Vsevolozhsky, then Director of Imperial Theatres in Saint Petersburg, pro- posed 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 delight- ed 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 Per- rault’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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