Pulcinella Ballet with song in one act. The original version of Pulcinella was choreographed by Massine with designs by Picasso in 1920. Like the original, Richard Alston's greatly-admired version of the complicated love-story has a Neapolitan setting and is based on traditional Commedia dell'Arte characters.
Soldat Ballet in one act. British choreographer, Ashley Page, used the suite from Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat for his ballet, Soldat - the traditional folk tale of the soldier and the devil in a battle of wits for the soldier's soul.
- Stravinsky: Pulcinella / Soldat: Rambert Dance Company review by DW
An interesting pairing from Ballet Rambert. Whilst Pulcinella is familiar to me I had not until now viewed a danced performance of L'Histoire du Soldat. It follows a story much along the lines of The Rakes Progress, the music is some of the most sparsely orchestrated Stravinsky wrote and very much in the Jazz-influenced style of his Ebony Concerto. In which case I have to say that this style holds the least appeal tor me compared with the vast catalogue of his music which I very much like. Nevertheless, the choreography and the performances of the small company of dancers is of the quality one has come to expect from Rambert.
I would have appreciated this performance of Pulcinella more if I hadn't recently watched, with huge enjoyment, a version of the ballet by a German company, Ballet Scapino I think, which was much livelier and full of mischief. Pulcinella is, after all, a scamp. I must add that I thought the singers in the Ballet Rambert version gave a rather poor performance whereas the Scapino ballet had the huge advantage of being conducted by Claudio Abbado and gained much by employing singers of the highest quality, such as John Shirley Quirk. The music is such a joy.