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Swan Lake (1895)

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Swan Lake (1895)

Ballets and revivals of Marius Petipa

*Paquita (1847, *1881)
*Le Corsaire (1858, 1863, 1868, 1885, 1899)
The Pharaoh's Daughter (1862, *1885, *1898)
Le Roi Candaule (1868, *1891, *1903)
Don Quixote (1869, *1871)
La Bayadère (1877, *1900)
*Giselle (1884, 1899, 1903)
*Coppélia (1884)
*La fille mal gardée (1885)
*La Esmeralda (1886, 1899)
The Talisman (1889)
The Sleeping Beauty (1890)
The Nutcracker (1892)
Cinderella (1893)
Le Réveil de Flore (1894)
*Swan Lake (1895)
*The Little Humpbacked Horse (1895)
Raymonda (1898)
The Seasons (1900)
Harlequinade (1900)

* revival

The 1895 Petipa/Ivanov/Drigo revival of Swan Lake is a famous version of the ballet Swan Lake. Swan Lake (ru. Лебединое Озеро) is a ballet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky presented in either four acts, four scenes (primarily outside Russia and Eastern Europe), or three acts, four scenes (primarily in Russia and Eastern Europe; more rarely in two acts, four scenes), and is based on an ancient German legend. Originally choreographed by Julius Reisinger to the music of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (opus 20), it was first presented as The Lake of the Swans by the Ballet of the Moscow Imperial Bolshoi Theatre on 20 February/4 March 1877 (Julian/Gregorian calendar dates) in Moscow, Russia. Although the ballet is presented in many different versions, most ballet companies today base their stagings both choreographically and musically on this revival by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, staged for the Imperial Ballet, first presented on 15 January/27 January 1895, at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia instead of the original version.


In the 1880s Tchaikovsky was commissioned by Ivan Vsevolozhsky, director of the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatres, to score what would become two of his greatest works - the operas The Enchantress (1886), and The Queen of Spades (1890). In 1887 Vsevolozhsky commissioned Tchaikovsky to score music for Marius Petipa's The Sleeping Beauty, a ballet which would prove to be one of both Tchaikovsky and Petipa's greatest masterworks. The first performance on 15 January 1890 by the Imperial Ballet was a great success, and soon Vsevolozhsky commissioned a second score for a ballet and an opera from the composer - The Nutcracker and Iolanthe, which premiered together on a double bill on 6 December 1892.

Prior to commissioning Tchaikovsky to score The Sleeping Beauty, Vsevolozhsky had considered reviving one act of Swan Lake for the 1886-1887 season, and had even written a letter requesting the music from Tchaikovsky's publisher Jurgenson, who recommended that the fourth scene be staged. However, Tchaikovsky suggested that the second scene be staged instead, which he considered to be " ... the best in all respects." Though this production never materialized, Vsevolozhsky continued showing interest in Swan Lake, and even as The Nutcracker was being readied for production in 1892 he was designing costumes for a possible revival of the work that would be produced by Petipa (Vsevolozhsky was a talented costume designer, having designed the costumes for the first productions of both The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker, as well as Raymonda, among many other ballets).

Tchaikovsky was delighted at the prospect of Swan Lake being revived by Petipa, of whom he had the greatest respect, proclaiming that "never with anyone but Petipa would I produce ballets". According to the composer/conductor Riccardo Drigo, "While (Tchaikovsky) was still alive I knew of his dissatisfaction with the instrumentation of (Swan Lake), and that he intended to take up the matter, but he never managed to do this". Tchaikovsky died on 6 November 1893, just when plans to revive Swan Lake were beginning to come to fruition.

Even with this statement from Drigo (which is from his memoirs written some thirty years after Tchaikovsky's death), it is not known for certain if Tchaikovsky was even going to revise the music for the prospected revival of Swan Lake. At some point before his death Tchaikovsky approved of three numbers orchestrated by Drigo from his Opus. 72 for Piano for interpolation into the production (i.e. the Variation of Odile from the third scene, and, for the fourth scene, the so-called Waltz for White and Black Swans and the Scène Dansante/Pas d'action). According to Tchaikovsky's brother Modeste, "...he [Tchaikovsky] was so delighted with Maestro Drigo's score for Petipa's The Talisman that he was not opposed to the idea of having him perform some of the necessary revisions [to Swan Lake]...". Whatever the case, as a result of Tchaikovsky's death, Drigo was forced to revise the score himself, but not before receiving approval from Modeste.

Vsevolozhsky then planned a memorial concert to be given by the Imperial Ballet and Opera at the Mariinsky Theatre in honor of the composer, with the bill consisting of the first act of Tchaikovsky's opera The Maid of Orleans, his overture from Romeo and Juliet, his Coronation Cantana, and the second scene of Swan Lake. The concert was given twice on February 17 and 22, 1894 with the Swan Lake excerpt being presented in a staging by Lev Ivanov, Second Balletmaster to the Imperial Ballet. Ivanov's choreography for the memorial concert was unanimously hailed as wonderful, and though the concert itself was not a success (due to high ticket prices the turnout was poor), Ivanov nevertheless won laurels for his work. The critic Bezobrazov complemented Ivanov, "The staging of the dances in Swan Lake is the work of the Balletmaster Lev Ivanov and does him great honor. Mr. Ivanov revealed a great deal of the finest, most elegant taste. To all the dances the Balletmaster imparted a noble stamp and consistent style."

The ballerina who danced Odette was the Italian virtuosa Pierina Legnani, considered by the critics, public, and her fellow dancers alike to be among the greatest, if not the greatest ballerina to ever grace the Imperial stage. She had made her début with the Imperial Ballet in Cinderella (choreographed by Petipa, Ivanov, and Enrico Cecchetti to the music of Baron Boris Fitinhof-Schell) in December 1893, and when she took to the stage she immediately swept all before her. In the Grand Pas d'action of the ballet's second act she demonstrated her phenomenal technique - next to her flawless placement and perfection of port de bras she performed pique turns with quadruple and quintuple pirouettes en pointe, accented with double turns no less than four times in a row - a feat even modern-day Ballerinas have difficulty achieving. But in the Grand Pas of the last act Legnani completely out-did herself - in her variation she completed no less than thirty two fouettés en tournant, the first ballerina ever to perform such a feat. The dazzled public roared with demands for an encore, and the ballerina repeated her variation, this time performing twenty eight fouettés en tournant. According to press accounts of the production the ballerina "did not move at all from the place she started".

Soon after Legnani was named Prima Ballerina Assoluta of the Imperial Ballet, and it was because of her great talent that the prospected revival of Swan Lake was planned for her benefit performance in the 1894-1895 season. However, the death of Tsar Alexander III on November 1, 1894 and the period of official mourning which followed it brought all ballet performances and rehearsals to a close for some time, and as a result all efforts were able to be concentrated on the pre-production of the revival of Swan Lake. Ivanov and Petipa chose to collaborate on the production, with Ivanov retaining his dances for the second scene while choreographing the fourth, and with Petipa staging the first and third scenes. Ivanov was also entrusted with staging the Neopolitan Dance and the Hungarian Dance in the Grand Divertessment of the third scene.

Tchaikovsky's brother Modeste was called upon to make the required changes to the ballet's libretto, the most prominent being his revision of the ballet's finale - instead of the lovers simply drowning at the hand of the wicked Von Rothbart as in the original 1877 scenario, Odette commits suicide by drowning herself, with Prince Siegfried choosing to die as well, rather than live without her, and soon the lovers' spirits are reunited in an apotheosis. Aside from the revision of the libretto the ballet was changed from four acts to three - with Act II becoming Act I-Scene 2, Act III becoming Act II, and Act IV becoming Act III.

All was ready by the beginning of 1895, and the ballet had its premiere on January 15. Pierina Legnani danced Odette/Odile, with Pavel Gerdt as Prince Siegfried, Alexei Bulgakov as Von Rothbart, and Alexander Oblakov as Benno.

Notation of Swan Lake and the 1895 premiere

The 1895 Petipa/Ivanov/Drigo edition of Swan Lake was notated in the method of Stepanov Choreographic Notation in or around 1901, and completed between April 1906 and April 1907, documenting a performance of the work with the Ballerina Vera Trefilova as Odette/Odile. This choreographic notation is today housed in the Harvard University Library Theatre Collection and is part of a whole cache of notation known as the Sergeyev Collection, which documents the works of Marius Petipa that comprised the repertory of the Imperial Ballet at the turn of the 20th century. Here are descriptions of the some of the scenes and dances of his and Ivanov's 1895 edition of Swan Lake -

Act I (or Act I-Scene 1)

Petipa's famous Pas de Trois from the first scene is still danced today by most companies nearly unchanged with, as Petipa usually did when staging a Pas de Trois Classique, having the Ballerina who dances the first variation leaving the stage before the end of the Entrée (as in Petipa's Grand Pas de Trois des Odalisques from Le Corsaire, or his Pas de Trois from Paquita). The first dancers to perform the Pas de Trois in the 1895 revival were Olga Preobrajenskaya, Georgy Kyaksht (famous for creating the role of Harlequin in Petipa's original 1900 Harlequinade), and Varvara Rykhlyakova. According to a press account - "...a captivating Pas de Trois, which is technically difficult, is performed en pointe for the most part with multiple turns, and was excellently performed by the Danseuses and their partner."

The Waltz of the first scene, or the Valse Champêtre (AKA the Valse Villageoise) is danced in many different versions by ballet companies today. Perhaps the only company to dance this Waltz today in Petipa's original version is the Royal Ballet. The notation documents Petipa's original choreography - one of his signature lavish dances for a massive Corps de Ballet. According to the notation the choreography called for forty dancers (20 men and 20 woman), with sixteen of them using footstools painted both red and green to form geometric patterns and make various poses, with the Corps de Ballet at all times remaining inside the space made by the footstools. A Maypole was brought out toward the finale of the Waltz. One critic who saw the first performance described it - "At the end of the Waltz a (Maypole) is introduced, the high point of which ribbons are dropped in sequential order: red ribbons, blue, and yellow. The dancers pick up the ends of the ribbons, forming thereby a kind of umbrella; it turned out to be quite an effective picture."

Act II (or Act I-Scene 2)

Perhaps only the Royal Ballet's 1987 revival (staged by Anthony Dowell and Roland John Wiley) of Swan Lake retains Ivanov's original scheme for the second scene, while most other productions present a version which has been handed down primarily by way of Soviet-era revisions. In the 1895 production Prince Siegfried made his way to the enchanted lake with a group of hunters, not by himself as in many modern versions. When Prince Siegfried first encountered Odette, there was (as is preserved in the notation) an extensive mime sequence between the two characters, a passage which is rarely performed in modern times (American Ballet Theatre director Kevin McKenzie created a mime sequence in the same manner as the original for his recent production of Swan Lake; while the Royal Ballet still performs a rendition of Ivanov's original mime).

Perhaps the most interesting feature of Ivanov's original choreography for the second scene was the use of children, a feature that was only recently restored in the Royal Ballet's 1987 production - there is perhaps no other production in the world which uses children in this scene. In Ivanov's original choreography, when Odette makes her second entrance to beg Benno and the hunting party not to hurt her fellow Swan Maidens, she is followed onstage by eight girl students as Swans. These students also participate in the Waltz of the Swans, which was far more elaborate in Ivanov's original than the traditional version danced today by most companies.

The Grand Adagio of the second scene (the Pas de Deux of Odette and Prince Siegfried sometimes referred to as the Love Duet) was choreographed by Ivanov as a Pas de deux à Trois - Pierina Legnani (who danced Odette/Odile in the 1895 revival) was partnered by both Pavel Gerdt (who danced Prince Siegfried) and Alexander Oblakov (who danced Benno). It was not until the Danseur Nikolai Legat replaced Gerdt in the role of Prince Siegfried in the late 1890s that the Pas became a Pas de deux, as it is danced today. Following Legat's example, many of the Danseurs of the Imperial Ballet who performed Prince Siegfried after him chose to partner Odette alone. In spite of this the notation for Swan Lake, made between April 1906 and April 1907, documents Ivanov's original 1895 scheme. The first production outside of Russia of the full-length Petipa/Ivanov production of Swan Lake was staged by Nicholas Sergeyev for the Vic-Wells Ballet (today the Royal Ballet) in 1934, a production which retained Ivanov's original version of the Grand Adagio as a Pas de deux à Trois, but over time the company chose to dance it as a Pas de Deux, which is today the tradition. One critic who viewed the 1895 premiere wrote of this Pas - "Legnani was as if transformed, preening and admiring her snow white down, it was as if Legnani were actually experiencing these moments, filled with poetic melancholy. Langour showed in each of her graceful movements. There Legnani was at the height of understanding her art."

The famous Dance of the Little Swans is perhaps the only number of the original 1895 Swan Lake to be danced in modern times exactly as Ivanov choreographed. The remainder of the second scene is notated, but the finale is not.

Act III (or Act II)

The National dances are rarely, if ever, performed as Petipa and Ivanov first staged them (Petipa staged the Spanish Dance and the Mazurka, Ivanov staged the Neopolitan Dance and the Hungarian Dance). During the premiere of the 1895 revival the Spanish Dance and the Neopolitan Dance left a rather neutral impression, but the Hungarian Dance and Mazurka were both encored. The Hungarian Dance was performed by the Danseur Alfred Bekefi and Petipa's daughter Marie Petipa (famous for creating the role of the Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty), who wore 12,000 roubles worth of diamonds for the performance. Perhaps the biggest sensation was the Mazurka, danced by a group of dancers with Felix Kschessinsky as soloist, Kschessinsky was hailed in his day at the Mariinsky Theatre as "King of the Mazurka" (he is most famous as being the father of the Ballerina Mathilde Kschessinskaya). The national dances are all preserved in Petipa and Ivanov's original choreography with the exception of the Spanish Dance, which is only preserved in Alexander Gorsky's 1913 version.

The character of Odile was not a "Black Swan" at all in either the original production of 1877 nor in the revival of 1895, and she was not performed as such for many years - she was simply Von Rothbart's evil daughter until sometime in the late 1930s or early 1940s. As Odile, Pierina Legnani appeared in a glittering multi-colored costume with no feathers to be found - obviously to appear more as an enchantress than as a "Black Swan". Later performances at the Mariinsky Theatre of Swan Lake used similar costume designs for Odile throughout the late 19th century and early 20th century. It is unknown when the tradition of having Odile performed as a "Black Swan" began, but most historians point to a 1941 staging of the third scene (AKA the "Ballroom Scene") performed by the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. This production was staged by Alexandra Fedorova-Fokine under the title The Magic Swan. Odile was danced by the great Ballerina Tamara Toumanova. At the time the only part of Swan Lake that was known in the west was the famous second scene (or the "White Act" as it is sometimes called). In an effort to have the audience distinguish Odile from the more well-known Odette, Fedorova-Fokine had Toumanova perform in a black costume, and almost by accident Odile began to be referred to as "The Black Swan". Though Toumanova was not the first Ballerina to wear such a costume when dancing Odile, her 1941 performance set the tradition in motion, and soon Odile became "The Black Swan", a tradition that quickly spread everywhere, including Russia.

What became known in modern times as The Black Swan Pas de Deux, which ends with glittering virtuosity from the Ballerina as well as the Danseur, was originally staged by Petipa as a Grand Pas de Deux à Quatre demi d'action - Prince Siegfried (Pavel Gerdt) and an additional suitor (danced by Alexander Gorsky) partnered Odile (Pierina Legnani), while Von Rothbart (danced by Alexei Bulgakov) did most of the acting/mime. In order to share in the "labour" of partnering, it was tradition in the late 19th century Imperial Theatres to have an additional suitor, along with the lead cavalier, partner the Prima Ballerina in a ballet's Grand Adagio. This was mostly because the aging Pavel Gerdt (who was fifty years old in 1895) was performing nearly all of the lead male roles in the repertory.

After the Grand Adagio Prince Siegfried (Pavel Gerdt) did not dance a variation, but the additional cavalier, danced by Alexander Gorsky, did - though a rather short one axccording to contemporary accounts. Just as it was tradition in the Imperial Ballet that an additional suitor partner the Ballerina, it was also tradition that this additional suitor dance the lead male character's variation, being that the aging Pavel Gerdt could not. It is not known for certain what music was used for Gorsky's variation, though it is thought to have been either a version of what later became the traditional Variation of Prince Siegfried, or an interpolation from another work, though this is highly unlikely. Gorsky would later expand on this solo for his own staging of the Petipa/Ivanov Swan Lake at the Moscow Bolshoi Theatre in 1901, for which he danced the lead. Prince Siegfried's famous variation has been historically credited to the great Danseur of the Kirov/Mariinsky Ballet Vakhtang Chabukiani, who it has been said was the first to dance the solo in the 1930s at the Kirov, though most likely he had learned the variation from Gorsky. Today the Kirov/Mariinsky Ballet's score for Swan Lake has this variation titled with a rubric that says Variation of Chabukiani, and this same solo is used by nearly every company when they perform The Black Swan Pas de Deux, though there are often differences in the music regarding orchestration from production to production (for example, the Kirov/Mariinsky Ballet's version of this music is orchestrated for solo clarinet at the start, whereas in the west it is usually the full violin section that plays throughout).

Pierina Legnani's variation as Odile was crafted by Petipa for her virtuoso technique, and is for the most part still performed as originally choreographed by him, still challenging Ballerinas to the present day. The Coda which followed Odile's variation was, as is well known, one the sensations of the 1895 premiere, with Legnani performing her famous thirty two fouettés en tournant, a feat she would later repeat in Petipa's 1899 revival of Le Corsaire, for which Petipa added the famous Le Corsaire Pas de Deux especially for her. As with the coda of The Black Swan Pas de Deux, it is now required of every Ballerina who dances the Le Corsaire Pas de Deux to perform the famous 32 fouettés en tournant. This tradition has spilled over into other famous 19th century Grand Pas, among them, the Don Quxiote Grand Pas de Deux, and the Paquita Grand Pas Classique, among others.

Act IV (or Act III)

At the beginning of the fourth scene, after a brief interlude, the second of the additions to the ballet was danced - another Waltz of the Swans to Drigo's orchestration of a piece from Tchaikovsky's Opus 72 for Piano - No. 11 Valse Bluette. This Waltz is still retained by many companies, particularly the Kirov/Mariinsky Ballet and the Royal Ballet. Ivanov choreographed this Waltz, based on Petipa's sketches, for both white and black Swans. After the Waltz is over Odette made her frantic entrance and, (as preserved in the notation), a brief mime interlude followed between her a few of her fellow Swan maidens.

After Prince Siegfried made his entrance the third of the additions to the ballet was danced - a Pas d'action for the reconciliation of Odette and Prince Siegfried. This number was also orchestrated by Drigo from Tchaikovsky's Opus 72 for Piano - No. 15 Un poco di Chopin, a piece which is not danced by very many companies today, except for the Royal Ballet and the Kirov/Mariinsky Ballet. After Von Rothbart makes his entrance a brief interlude ensues, but soon the choreographic notation comes to an end.

The premiere of the Petipa/Ivanov/Drigo was quite a success, with Legnani enchanting the audience with her versatile portrayal of the Swan Queen Odette and the evil enchantress Odile. But still the 1895 edition of was not the colossal triumph that has been accepted as fact in modern times. Most of the reviews in the St. Petersburg newspapers were positive.

The Tableau of Swan Lake in the second scene was planned with great talent and permeated with true poetry, gloomy and expressive. Among the craggy rocks in the far distance a mysterious and deathly quiet lake is seen. The entire stage is filled with soft, quivering moonlight ... To melodious sounds, lightly and beautifully, like the music, a flock of swans, floats out...the 'Waltz of the Swans' is simple and beautiful. The Adagio is the Ballerina's masterpiece, in the performance of which Miss Legnani revealed brilliant technique, lightness of movement, and plasticity of pose.

Unlike the premiere of The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake did not dominate the repertory of the Mariinsky Theatre in its first season. It was given only given sixteen performances between the premiere and the 1895-1896 season, and was not performed at all in 1897. Even more surprising, the ballet was only given four times in 1898 and 1899. The ballet belonged solely to Legnani until she left St. Petersburg for her native Italy in 1901. After her departure, the ballet was taken over by Mathilde Kschessinskaya, who was as much celebrated in the role as was her Italian predecessor.

Drigo's edition of Tchaikovsky's score

There are major differences in the score of Swan Lake when one compares a recording or manuscript of the original, un-altered composition of 1877, with the score as performed in live performance. Although he is rarely credited for his work, it is Riccardo Drigo's revision of Tchaikovsky's score as done for Petipa and Ivanov's 1895 revival that almost every ballet company utilizes to one degree or another when performing Swan Lake. Most ballet companies opt to fashion their own respective version of Tchaikovsky's score. Nevertheless Drigo's revision of the score is often used as the foundation. It is significant to note that Tchaikovsky's brother Modest approved of Drigo revising the music, and Tchaikovsky himself approved of Drigo's additions.


Below is a list of the most striking changes made by Drigo to the score of Swan Lake, many of which have remained the standard of ballet companies today:

NOTE Some numbering of the Acts and Scenes were changed for the 1895 revival - Act II became Act I-scene 2, thus changing Act III to Act II, and Act IV to Act III.

Act I (or Act I-Scene 1)

  • the Andante sostenuto (No. 4-2 in the original score) of the Pas de Trois (No. 4) was deleted.
  • the first variation of the Pas de Trois (No. 4-3 in the original score) was changed from Allegro semplice to Allegro moderato. The eight bars of music preceding the final eight bars of the variation were deleted. Two bars of music before the final two bars were deleted as well. Percussion (including fortissimo cymbals, snare drum and triangle) was removed from the final bars.
  • the second variation of the Pas de Trois (No. 4-4) was shortened (repeated passages removed). As well, the final eight bars of music were changed from poco meno to meno.
  • the third variation of the Pas de Trois (No. 4-5) was also shortened (repeated passages removed), and changed from Allegro to Allegretto.
  • the Waltz (No. 2) and the Pas de Trois (No. 4) were reversed. The Waltz was retitled Valse Champêtre (Pastoral Waltz). It is also known as the Valse Villageoise. Various repeated passages were removed from the waltz.
  • the Pas de Deux for Two Merry Makers (No. 5) was transferred to Act III (known today as the Black Swan Pas de deux) and extensively revised.

Act II (or Act I-Scene 2)

  • the dances of the Grand Pas des Cygnes (a.k.a. the Dances of the Swans) were put into a new order, with Tchaikovsky's reprise of the Waltz of the Swans (Tempo di valse-No. 13-3) being deleted. The new order was - the Waltz of the Swans (Tempo di valse-No. 13-1), the Grand Adagio AKA the Love Duet (Pas d'action-No. 13-5), the Dance of the Little Swans (Allegro moderato-No. 13-4), the General Dance (Tempo di valse-No. 13-6), Variation of Odette (Moderato assai-Molto più mosso No. 13-2), and the Grand Coda (Coda-Allegro vivo No. 13-7). This order of the dances is retained by almost every ballet company today.
  • the ending of the Grand Adagio or Love Duet (Pas d'action-No. 13-5) was modified by Drigo. Originally this number ended with an Allegro movement in Eb major. This ending was omitted and in its place Drigo added an epilogue at bar 95 which was composed by himself. The new ending corresponded with the motif of the rest of the number, while also reverting to the opening key. This is the version that is used by nearly every ballet company today.
  • the Coda (No. 13-7) (retitled Coda Générale) was lengthened by having the number repeat before the finale.

Act III (or Act II)

  • the Ballabile: Dances for the Corps de ballet and the Dwarfs (No. 16) was deleted (this music was later used by the Balletmaster Konstantin Sergeyev in his 1951 version for the Kirov/Mariinsky Ballet as a dance for a Court Jester).
  • the Waltz of the Prospective Fiancées (Scène No. 17) was edited so that, instead of a separate entrance for each prospective bride, one single entrance would suffice.
  • the Grand Pas de Six (no.19) was deleted (many choreographers have re-worked this number in various stagings, most notably Sir Kenneth McMillian for his production for the Royal Ballet).
  • the Russian Dance Tchaikovsky composed for Pelagia Karpakova (catalogued as appendix no. 2 in the original score) was deleted (this number is often used in various modern stagings of the ballet, and has even been used as an Arabian Dance, as in the Pacific Northwest Ballet's production staged by Kent Stowell).
  • the Pas de Deux that was composed by Léon Minkus for the Ballerina Anna Sobeshchanskaya, which was partially re-orchestrated/adapted by Tchaikovsky (catalogued as appendix no. 1 in the original score), was deleted (today this Pas is known as the Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux in George Balanchine's celebrated version).
  • the Grand Pas de Deux (AKA The Black Swan Pas de Deux) was fashioned from the music of the Pas de Deux for Two Merry Makers (No. 5 in the original score). The Adagio (Andante, No. 5-2) was modified by Drigo - this number originally ended with an Allegro movement in A major for solo violin, which was cut (in modern times this passage of music is used in a re-scored version as a variation for Prince Siegfried). As he had done with the Grand Adagio of the second scene, Drigo composed a new ending for the Adagio, inserted at bar 75 (this version of the Adagio of The Black Swan Pas de Deux is still used by nearly every ballet company today). It is not known for certain whether or not the Tempo di valse (No. 5-3) was danced in the 1895 revival.
  • the now familiar Variation of Odile of The Black Swan Pas de Deux was orchestrated by Drigo from Tchaikovsky's Opus 72 for Piano - No. 12 L'Espiègle, which is still danced today by nearly every Ballerina as Odile.

Act IV (or Act III)

  • The Entr'acte (No. 25) was modified so that the music could move to a new key and lead into the following number.
  • The Scène (No. 26) and the Dance of the Little Swans (No. 27) were deleted. Here the second addition was inserted - another piece from Tchaikovsky's Opus 72 for Piano - No. 11 Valse Bluette, which was used as a Waltz for White and Black Swans (this number is not performed by many companies, but is still retained by the Kirov/Mariinsky Ballet and the Royal Ballet).
  • At bar 26 of No. 28 the third addition from Tchaikovsky's Opus 72 for Piano was inserted - No. 15 Un poco di Chopin, orchestrated by Drigo as a Pas d'action for Prince Siegfried and Odette in which the lovers reconcile. After this number the music continued at bar 27 of No. 28. The so-called "storm music" was deleted, and the music resumed. The final passage of music which contained tremendous dynamics from the brass section was softened.

Drigo's edition of the score

NOTE - the numbers of each of the dances/scenes correspond with Tchaikovsky's original score. The titles of each of the dances/scenes come from the published libretto and the program of the premiere of the 1895 revival, most differing from the titles of the original score. Although this list indicates the most prominent changes to each individual dance/scene, it does not list such changes as deletions of bars of music, etc.

Act I (scene 1) (originally Act I)

  • Introduction
  • No. 1 Scène première
  • No. 4 Pas de trois
no.4-1 Entrée
no.4-2 Andante sostenuto - DELETED
no.4-3 Variation 1 (changed from Allegro Semplice to Allegro Moderato)
no.4-4 Variation 2
no.4-5 Variation 3
no.4-6 Coda
  • No. 3 Scène
  • No. 2 Valse champêtre
  • No. 6 Scène d'action
  • No. 7 (pt.1) Introduction to the Danse au cliquetis de verres (Sujet)
  • No. 8 (pt.2) Danse au cliquetis de verres
  • No. 9 Départ des chasseurs

Act I (scene 2) (originally Act II)

  • No. 14 Introduction (No. 14 used as an introduction)
  • No. 10 Scène et entrée d'Odette
  • No. 11 Scène dansante
  • No. 12 Entrée des cygnes
  • No. 13 Grand pas des cygnes
no.13-1 Valse des Cygnes
no.13-5 Grand Adagio (a.k.a. the Love Duet or the White Adagio) (new ending composed by Drigo, inserted at bar 94)
no.13-4 Danse des petits Cygnes (the famous Dance of the Little Swans)
no.13-6 Danse Générale (a.k.a. Dance of the Big Swans) (changed from Ab major to A major)
no.13-2 Variation d'Odette
no.13-7 Coda Générale
no.13-3 Tempo di valse - DELETED
  • No. 14 Scène et final

Act II (originally Act III)

  • No. 15 Grand Marche
  • No. 16 Ballabile: Dance of the Corps de Ballet and the Dwarves - DELETED
  • No. 17 Valse des Fiancées (edited to conform with the new libretto)
  • No. 18 Entrée d'Odile
  • No. 19 Grand Pas de six - DELETED
  • Appendix I: Pas de deux for Mme. Anna Sobeshchanskaya (a.k.a. Tchaikovsky Pas de deux) - DELETED
  • Appendix II: Russian Dance for Mlle. Pelagia Karpakova - DELETED
  • Grand Divertissement -
No. 21 Pas Espagnol (Spanish Dance)
No. 22 Danse Vénitienne (Neopolitan/Venetian Dance)
No. 20 Pas Hongrois (Hungarian Dance)
No. 23 Mazurka
  • No. 5 Grand Pas d'action (a.k.a. The Black Swan Pas de Deux, fashioned from the Pas de deux for Two Merry-makers)
no.5-1 Entrée
no.5-2 Grand Andante (new ending composed by Drigo, inserted at bar 75)
no.5-3 Variation for Alexander Gorsky (for the 1895 production, Gorsky performed as an additional suitor to assist Pavel Gerdt in partnering Pierina Legnani. Gorsky danced a variation set to the Tempo di Valse from Tchaikovsky's original Pas de deux, which was given a slightly modified ending.)
--Interpolation (1935?) - Variation Chabukiani aka Variation of Prince Siegfried (this is the familiar variation danced by Prince Siegfried. It was fashioned from the omitted allegro ending of no.5-2. It is historically credited to have been danced for the first time by the Kirov Ballet's Premier danseur Vakhtang Chabukiani in 1935. It is likely that it was inserted into the ballet at an earlier time since by 1935 it was also found in western productions of Swan Lake, notably the Sadler's Wells Ballet's production.)
--Interpolation no.1 - Variation Mlle. Pierina Legnani (variation for Odile, orch. by Drigo from Tchaikovsky's Op.72 for Piano -No.12 "L'Espiègle")
no.5-4 Coda
  • No. 24 Scène (reprise of the Waltz from No. 17 deleted)

Act III (originally Act IV)

  • No. 25 Entr'acte
  • No. 26 Scène - DELETED
  • No. 27 Dance of the Little Swans - DELETED
  • Interpolation no.2 - Valse des Cygnes (a.k.a. Waltz for White and Black Swans, orch. by Drigo from Tchaikovsky's Op.72 for Piano -No.11 "Valse Bluette")
  • No. 28-Pt.1 Scène (ends at bar 26. Continues after the next number)
  • Interpolation no.3 - Scène Dansante (inserted after bar 26 of No.28, orch. by Drigo from Tchaikovsky's Op.72 for Piano -No.15 "Un poco di Chopin")
  • No. 28-Pt.2 Scène (continues at bar 27. The so-called "storm music" was deleted)
  • No. 29 Scène et final. Apothéose

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