The Prince of the Pagodasop. 57 - Suite (1957)
Boosey & Hawkes
Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin / Vladimir Ashkenazy
Britten’s only full-length ballet was written for Covent Garden and first performed on New Year’s Day 1957 with choreography by John Cranko. In more recent years it has been successfully revived and toured internationally by the Royal Ballet with new choreography by Kenneth MacMillan. The score is notable for its highly sophisticated emulation of the gamelan ensembles that Britten heard on a trip to Bali in 1956, used to portray the colourful and exotic world of ‘Pagoda Land’. Three compilations of extracts from the ballet are available for concert purposes: the exhilarating Pas de six from Act 3; the Prelude and Dances, compiled by Norman Del Mar (with Britten’s authorization) in 1963; and a more recent Suite compiled in 1997 by Donald Mitchell and Mervyn Cooke.