On the right bank are the ruins of a chapel. A swan wearing a crown on its head leads the other swans as they glide majestically across the surface of the lake. The Prince and Benno enter. Siegfried sees the swans and prepares to fire, but they disappear behind the ruins, which are then illuminated by a magical light.
The two men decide to investigate, and as they approach, a young girl comes down the staircase, wearing a white dress and the crown on her head. She asks Siegfried why he wishes to persecute her. She tells him that she is the Princess Odette, the unwanted stepdaughter of an evil sorceress who is trying to kill her. She is protected by her crown, which was given to her by her grandfather.
Only the marriage vow can break the spell, which holds her and the other girls bound as swans by day and humans by night. An evil sorceress appears in the guise of an owl and menaces Siegfried. Then a flock of swan maidens and children appear and reproach the young huntsmen. Odette tells them to desist since she considers him to be no threat to them.
Siegfried throws away his weapon. The swans dance, and Siegfried confesses the love he has began to feel for Odette. She reminds him of the ball planned for the next day, and its purpose, but Siegfried swears his love despite this. Odette promises him she will attend the ball tomorrow.
As dawn breaks. Odette and her friends withdraw into the ruins, and reappear on the lake as swans. Act III. In the castle ballroom, Wolfgang orders the servants to admit the guests, and they are followed by the Prince's mother, Siegfried and their retinue of pages and dwarves, who perform a dance. The Master of Ceremonies signals the revels to commence, and new guests are announced, including an old count with his wife and daughter, who begins to dance with one of the knights.
Six eligible princesses arrive with their parents, and each daughter dances for Siegfried. After several such entrances, the Siegfried's mother instructs her son to make a choice, but he cannot. Annoyed, she calls Wolfgang to talk some sense into him. Fanfares sound anew, and Baron von Rothbart enters with Odile.
Siegfried is struck by Odile's likeness to Odette. He even asks Benno to affirm her resemblance to Odette, but his friend sees none. Siegfried delightedly welcomes Odile, and the ball recommences. Dances follow for the visiting Princesses, a Pas de deux for Siegfried and Odile, and dancers from many nations. The Prince's mother is delighted that Siegfried is taken with Odile. He announces that he will marry her, and kisses Odile's hand. The Prince's mother and von Rothbart join their hands.
The scene then darkens, and an owl cries out, as von Rothbart is revealed as a demon. Odette appears helplessly at a window as white swan, while Odile laughs loudly. Siegfried is horrified, and flings away the hand of his newly betrothed.
Clutching his breast, he rushes out of the castle. Act IV. Back at the lakeside clearing, the Swan maidens await Odette by the lake, unable to understand where their queen has gone. The young swans dance while they wait.
Odette eventually returns in despair and tells the others that she has been betrayed, and no hope remains. Against their advice, Odette lingers to spend one last moment with Siegfried, who rushes in. As a storm rises, Siegfried begs Odette's forgiveness, but she feels powerless to forgive him, and she tries to run away towards the ruins. The Prince catches up with her, grasps her hand and desperately exclaims that she will remain with him forever.
Then he takes the crown from her head and throws it into the stormy lake. An owl flies screeching overhead, holding Odette's crown in its claws. Odette dies in the Prince's arms. The sad last song of the swan is heard. Both lovers are engulfed by the overflowing lake. As the waters subside, swans are seen gliding across the calm surface of the lake. The ballet was commissioned from Tchaikovsky by the Directorate of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow during the spring of Nikolay Kashkin  recalled that the composer was persuaded to write a ballet on a mythical subject from the time of medieval knights, but there is very little reliable information on the process of composition.
Kashkin insisted that the composer began to work on the ballet in the spring and that the first act "was already written by the end of the conservatory examinations", although he mistakenly dates this to the spring of by which time the ballet had been completely orchestrated. In this same letter he mentions that he is tired, adding: "After my exertions of the last few days, I really intend to take a break before returning to Moscow. I don't want to think about music this coming term" .
I worked rather diligently and, apart from the symphony , I wrote in outline two acts of a ballet. I took this work on partly for the money, which I need, and partly because I have long wanted to try my hand at writing this type of music" .
It is not possible to ascertain exactly when the sketches were completed and the instrumentation was begun. On the fair copy of the manuscript, after Act I, No.
Moscow ". Evidently at this point the rough sketches had already been completed, and the composer had embarked on the instrumentation of the ballet. Besides composing Lake of the Swans , Tchaikovsky had to attend to a number of other tasks. Besides a ballet, which I am rushing to finish as soon as possible so that I can start on an opera, I have a mass of proofs and—worst of all—a commitment to write some musical articles" .
In order to do the job properly, I need two weeks away from here otherwise nothing will get done" . In the same letter he reported that he was going to see Konstantin Shilovsky at Glebovo. I want to get away from all the bustle and clamour of the festivities in Moscow , and to work properly on the ballet, which has to be finished as soon as possible. Yesterday in the hall of the Theatrical School there was a rehearsal of a few numbers from the first act of this ballet". And below he added: "The whole theatre was delighted with my music" .
The author's date at the end of the manuscript reads: "The End!!! Glebovo 10 April ". Evidently the full score of Act I was in the hands of the theatre before Tchaikovsky left on his foreign travels. In a report from the inspector of music, Yury Gerber, to the Directorate of the Moscow Theatres, we read: "I have the honour of informing the Directorate that on this day I received from Mr Tchaikovsky the remaining 3 acts of the ballet Swan Lake— Mr Tchaikovsky asked me to petition the Directorate for payment of the balance of his fee".
After finishing the ballet, Tchaikovsky was asked to write two supplementary numbers. The first of these pieces is described on the manuscript score as: "Russian Dance for the third act of Lake of the Swans for Mme.
Karpakova ". This dance was performed by the principal ballerina in all productions of the ballet during the composer's lifetime.
The origins of this Pas de deux are described in Pavel Pchelnikov 's recollections of Tchaikovsky . The former was told the story by the conductor Stepan Ryabov. Without naming the ballerina, Pchelnikov reported that she went to Saint Petersburg to ask the balletmaster Marius Petipa if he could furnish her with a Pas de deux. The number was set to music by the composer Ludwig Minkus. Not wanting to allow music by others in his ballet, Tchaikovsky wrote his own Pas de deux , preserving the length and divisions of Minkus' piece .
The Introduction alone was arranged for piano solo by the composer in or , and this was published with Nikolay Kashkin 's arrangement of the rest of the ballet, which had been made at the request of Tchaikovsky himself. Would you like to hear it? Albrecht will be there as well" . Nikolay Kashkin wrote about his work on the arrangement in his memoirs: "The principle objective of my arrangement of the ballet was, where possible, to preserve all the main lines in the full score, which was not a particularly easy task.
When he came to review it, the author simplified a few places of little musical importance, while elsewhere he even added a few grace notes. These additions could not be played on the piano, but, probably imagining the printed orchestral score of the ballet, the composer inserted these details simply because he took it into his head that the music would read better that way" .
In Tchaikovsky considered creating a suite from the music to Swan Lake , but it was only seven years after his death that such a suite was finally published, and it is unknown who made the selection of numbers. There are few surviving accounts by Tchaikovsky concerning his ballet. None of Tchaikovsky's other stage works were subject to such changes and misrepresentation in productions as Swan Lake. Audio CD, June 2, "Please retry".
Audio CD, September 13, —. Track Listings Disc: 1. Danse Des Cygnes. Danse Hongroise Czardas. Danse Espagnole. Danse Napolitaine. Overture Miniature. Danses Caracteristiques: Marche. Danses Caracteristiques: Danse Russe Trepak. Danses Caracteristiques: Danse Arabe. Danses Caracteristiques: Danse Des Chinoise. Danses Caracteristiques: Danse Des Mirlitons. Danses Caracteristiques: Pas De Deux.
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Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon. Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. Sell on Amazon Start a Selling Account.P. Tchaikovsky*, The USSR State Symphony Orchestra*, Evgeny Svetlanov* – Suites From The Ballets "Swan Lake" And "Nutcracker" Label: Мелодия – none, Совкомфлот – none.