To the 150th birth anniversary of great impresario Sergei Diaghilev

"Russian Seasons" of  Sergei Diaghilev and especially his private ballet enterprise not only glorified Russian art abroad, but also had a great influence on the entire world culture. The popularization of Russian art in the West was one of the main missions for Sergei Diaghilev. No less important was the inclusion of Russian art in the pan-European artistic process.

The museum Collection section “Russian Sculpture” features the sculpture Faun (1913), created by Seraphim Sudbinin (1867-1944). The theme and figurative solution of this composition were suggested to Sudbinin by one of the best ballets of the Diaghilev's "Russian Seasons" - "The Afternoon of a Faun" to the music of Claude Debussy. Léon Bakst (1893-1924) designed sets and costumes for the ballet. The soloist of the «Russian Seasons» Vatslav Nijinsky (1889-1950) performed the star part.
Sergei Diaghilev invited Vaslav Nijinsky as lead dancer to participate in the first "Russian Ballet Season" in Paris in 1909. In 1909-1913, Nijinsky was the leading soloist of the Russian Seasons. Nijinsky, encouraged by Diaghilev, tried his hand as a choreographer. His first work "Afternoon of a Faun" (1912) impressed the audience, which was not accustomed to choreography based on sideway postures, angular movements. The following productions by Nijinsky were characterized by anti-romanticism and confrontation to the usual elegance of the classical style.

For the 150th anniversary of Sergei Diaghilev, we present a recording of two musical pieces from the ballet "Pulcinella" performed by a symphony orchestra conducted by Igor Stravinsky.

“Pulcinella" is one of the most interesting works in the musical culture of the first half of the 20th century, created by the great artists-pioneers. The idea belonged to Sergei Diaghilev, who, after the triumph of the "Russian" theme, became interested in Italian classics. The musical part was written by Igor Stravinsky that reconsidered the music and created new orchestration of musical fragments written by the 18th-century Italian composers - Pergolesi, Gallo, Parisotti and Köhler. The famous Russian choreographer Leonid Myasin realized the choreography, and the scenery for the premiere of the ballet, held in Paris in May 1920, was made according to sketches of Pablo Picasso. Picasso himself said, "Diaghilev did more to spread my fame on an international scale than the Paris exhibitions”.

Judging by the memoirs of his contemporaries, Diaghilev did not stand on ceremony with Picasso. Diaghilev did not like the first sketches of costumes for Pulcinella, and he extremely emotionally demanded that the artist redo everything. Diaghilev threw these sketches on the floor, trampled on them, and, slamming the door, left. However, the next day, the Russian impresario had to use all his charm so that Picasso would forgive him. It worked, and Picasso made new sketches of costumes in the style that Sergei Diaghilev wanted from him.