These past three weeks on hiatus, I have also been reading Diaghilev (a life) by Sjeng Scheijen.
Sergei Diaghilev (1872-1929) is the historically famous impresario of the Ballets Russes. He was flamboyant and openly gay at a time when this was not generally accepted even in Paris in the 1920’s. Under his commission, the greatest of 20th century composers wrote ballets for him.
Stravinsky’s “Le Sacre,” Ravel’s “Daphnis and Chloe,” and more than a few ballets by Prokofiev were among those commissions. A grand life led by a bigger than life character.
There is a movie from the 1980 that essayed Diaghilev’s work and relationship with the famous and tragic ballet star Vaslav Nijinsky. The movie is called “Nijinsky,” and stars Alan Bates as Sergei Diaghilev, and George de la Pena as Nijinsky.
At week three of my hiatus in the sun I have come up with a short guitar piece that I think is quite nice.
The working title is “Poor Hidalgo.”
I have been thinking about the Don Quixote character a lot and it led to this tune which utilizes as a unifying them the Spanish dance pattern called “Quajira” which alternates 6/8 and 3/4 meters.
According to wiki the definition of “hidalgo” is:
“In literature the hidalgo is usually portrayed as a noble who has lost nearly all of his family’s wealth but still held on to the privileges and honours of the nobility. The prototypical fictional hidalgo is Don Quixote, who was given the sobriquet ‘the Ingenious Hidalgo’ by his creator, Miguel de Cervantes. In the novel Cervantes has Don Quixote satirically present himself as an hidalgo de sangre and aspire to live the life of a knight-errant despite the fact that his economic position does not allow him to truly do so. Don Quixote’s possessions allowed to him a meager life devoted to his reading obsession, yet his concept of honour led him to emulate the knights-errant. The picaresque novel Lazarillo features an hidalgo so poor that he spreads on his clothes breadcrumbs from a box to simulate that he has had a meal. His hidalgo honour forbids him from manual work but does not provide him with subsistence.”