Daily Archives: December 10, 2009 8:43 am

Musical surprises #10: Le Corsaire doesn’t go like you think it does

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Here’s a nice Christmas ‘spot the difference’ quiz: listen to the music of the two clips below and see how many differences (apart from tempo) you can identify.  Corella’s is the original, Nureyev’s is Lanchbery’s re-orchestration – and is it turns out, a bit more than orchestration.  Until last year, I had never heard the first version. My thanks, as always, to the terrific Adam Lopez for helping to sort out this conundrum and point me to the relevant sources.

Update, Feb 2014: Both links below have been removed from Youtube due to copyright violations. Damn. Well, in short, for musicians, if there’s a whopping great E flat 7 chord with a D flat on top at the end of the pirouette section leading into the final bit, then it’s Lanchbery. If it’s just another C major chord, it’s the original. There are other differences, but that’s the big one.

Clip 1: Angel Corella dancing the Corsaire pas de deux solo

Clip 2: Nureyev dancing the Corsaire pas de deux solo.