Caroline Mathilde: Concert Suite from Act I of the ballet

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies (1934)

Caroline Mathilde: Concert Suite from Act I of the ballet 1991

2222 - 2220 - timp - perc(2) - harp - strings
Duration 
25
Genre 
Publisher 

Davies's second full-length ballet concerns the unhappy history of an eighteenth-century British princess married to the eccentric and epileptic King Christian VII of Denmark; in keeping with the period, and perhaps also with the traditions of Romantic ballet, the music is relatively simple in harmony and form, and most of the action is conveyed in set-piece dances. The suite, which consists essentially of the second half of Act I, begins with one of these, a bristling interplay of wind and string ensembles in D major, portraying in the ballet a curious nuptial game with the king and princess on movable pedestals. The slow music that follows has to do with the king's healing by Dr. Struensee and the new queen's unquiet reverie (oboe and cor anglais solos). Then the suite, like the act, is capped by a pair of pas-de-deux, the first savage and bizarre for the royal couple, the second rich and passionate for the queen and the miracle-working doctor.

Performances 
12.7.91 Cheltenham Music Festival: BBC Philharmonic/Sir Peter Maxwell Davies
3.9.06 Malmo, Sweden: Malmo Opera
15.12.09 Katowice, Poland: Karol Szymanowski Academy Symphony Orchestra/Christopher Austin
2-5.6.11New Jersey, USA: New Jersey Symphony/Jacques Lacombe
2
Flute
1st doubling piccolo, 2nd alto flute
2
Oboe
2nd doubling cor anglais
2
Clarinet
2nd doubling bass clarinet
2
Bassoon
2nd doubling contrabassoon
2
Horn
2
Trumpet
2
Trombone
1
Timpani
2
Percussion
1
Harp
(Esc)