“Everything is beautiful at the ballet” (Chorus Line, 1975)

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Rarely does a piece come together as quickly as easily as my latest recording – “Swan Lake in the Desert.”  Even though I have never played this music before, it took less than half an hour to go from inspiration to rehearsal to a finished recording. And all that without any sheet music.

That’s how powerful an impact Tchaikovsky’s ballet masterpiece – “Swan Lake” – had on me.  Written in 1875-76 and first performed in 1877, this ballet etched itself in my Third Ear after last night’s magnificent Arizona Ballet performance at the Phoenix Symphony Hall.

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Elizabeth and I were invited to this unexpected delight by my BMO Harris Private Bank officers, one of the major sponsors of the event.  And boy oh boy, was it ever a fabulous evening.

Pyotr+Ilyich+TchaikovskyOne small critical observation… nowhere in the progrIMG_2474am, or on the big or small billboards, not even after dozens and dozens of minor performer credits and hundreds of ballet sponsors, could one find the name of the composer of “Swan Lake” – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.  And without him, none of the rest would have been possible.  Perhaps the Arizona Ballet marketing people should make a note of that.

When I woke up this morning, while still in bed, I could hear the full orchestra playing the “Swan Lake” finale.  So as soon as Elizabeth was up, I started playing it on my Clavinova.

“How does it sound to you?” I asked after a couple of variations.

“Like the symphony last night,” she replied matter-of-factly.

Encouraged, I continued the orchestration. And half an hour later, this recording was the result.

“Swan Lake” Finale – by ALTZAR – a film by Bob Altzar Djurdjevic – music recorded in its entirety on a Clavinova on Halloween – Oct 31, 2014

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By contrast to a quick music recording, making this video, however, took “all day.” The new Apple Yosemite OS makes everything as slow as molasses, especially handling of images.  So beware all you Mac users before you “upgrade” to Yosemite.

Happy Halloween!

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