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ClassicsOnline Home » BLISS: Checkmate / Melee Fantasque

BLISS: Checkmate / Melee Fantasque

Composer(s)Bliss, Arthur
Artist(s) Lloyd-Jones, David, Conductor • Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category BalletOrchestral
Catalogue 8.557641
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
  Booklet / liner notes available
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Sir Arthur Bliss, Master of the Queen’s Music from 1953, was one of the leading British composers of his generation. The sparkling Mêlée Fantasque (1921), which the composer considered to be his first ballet score, shows the influence of Stravinsky and Dyagilev’s Ballets Russes. Checkmate (1937), a collaboration with the great choreographer, Ninette de Valois, is a masterpiece of English ballet, full of striking ideas and colourful effects. This disc offers a rare opportunity to hear the complete ballet, which remains in the repertoire to this day.

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Work/Track Title Time
BLISS: Checkmate / Melee Fantasque 1:04:58   
  Melee Fantasque 12:00       
      I. Prologue - The Players: Moderato maestoso 5:45       
      II. Dance of the Red Pawns: Allegro spirito scherzando 2:25       
      III. Dance of the Four Knights: Allegro moderato sempre robustamente 3:49       
      IV. Entry of the Black Queen: L’istesso tempo 5:31       
      V. The Red Knight’s Mazurka: Moderato giojosamente 3:37       
      VI. Ceremony of the Red Bishops: Largamente (misticamente) 2:12       
      VII. Entry of the Red Castles: Allegro molto deciso 2:24       
      VIII. Entry of the Red King and Queen: Grave 1:45       
      XI. The Attack: Allegro impetuoso e brillante 7:03       
      X. The Duel: Maestoso moderato e molto appassionato 8:26       
      X. The Black Queen Dances: Allegro dispettoso 3:42       
      XII. Finale - Checkmate: Andante poco sostenuto - Allegro vivace e feroce 6:19       
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