'Jules Massenets ballet LA CIGALE: a new perspective of an old fable ' - 'PHILHARMONICA. International Music Journal' - NotaBene.ru
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PHILHARMONICA. International Music Journal

A.P. Grutsynova Jules Massenets ballet LA CIGALE: a new perspective of an old fable

Abstract: The object of the research of the article is Jules Massenets ballet La Cigale, which is examined, on the one hand, as one of the composers works in the indicated genre (Massenet wrote three ballets) and, on the other hand, as an example of French ballet music of the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. A certain amount of decline in the indicated period of Western European ballet as a phenomenon related to theater, that revealed itself primarily in the sphere of production and performance, paradoxically, did not affect its musical side, which is cindicated both by the multitude of the musical scores composed and the large number of composers writing them (Gabriel Pierné, Reynaldo Hahn, Edouard Lalo, Camille Saint-Saens, André Messager, Fules Massenet and others). Upon analyzing the ballet La Cigale the author of the article, in light of the multifaceted aspect of the issue, used a complex approach uniting the methods of historicity, literary criticism, analytical musicology and source studies. The conclusions of the work are formed by the revealed peculiarities of interpretation and rethinking of the plot used (Jean de La Fontaines fable La Cigale et la Fourmi, known in Russia as The Dragonfly and the Ant), the description of the inner structure of the ballets music (a through development with several relatively completed dancing episodes appearing during the process), the indication of the details of the musical solution (usage of the leitmotif and recurring musical fragments, musical quotations, as well as the sound of the chorus brought into the ballets finale). The novelty of the work consists in the comprehensive analysis of a ballet by Massenet carried out for the first time and incorporating it into the number of the few researched ballet scores by the French composers of the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.


Jules Massenet, Jean de la Fontaine, fable, La Cigale et la Fourmi, reevaluation, divertimento-ballet, dance, leitmotif, musical quotation, sound depiction

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This article written in Russian. You can find original text of the article here .
1. Kremlyov, Yu. Jules Massenet. Moscow: Sovetsky kompozitor, 1969.
2. Slonimsky, Yu. Dramaturgiya baletnogo teatra XIX veka. Ocherki. Libretto. Stsenarii. [Dramaturgy of 19th Century Ballet Theater. Essays. Librettos. Scenarios. Moscow: Iskusstvo, 1977. 343 p.
3. La Cigale. Divertissement Ballet en deux actes de Henri Cain. Musique de J. Massenet. Paris: Au Ménestrel, 1904. 88 p.
4. Servières G. Jules Massenet // La Musique française moderne. Paris: G. Havard Fils, 1897. p. 118220.
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