There is nothing more difficult than talking about music.
When he composed Le carnaval des animaux St-Saens was concerned the 14 pieces would harm his reputation as a serious composer and he refused to allow their publication or performance during his lifetime – except for Le Cygne. Choreographer Michel Fokine, who had read Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem The Dying Swan, collaborated with dancer Anna Pavlova to create a solo ballet, first performed in 1905.
Le Cygne, St-Saens
Maya Plisetskaya, former principal at the Bolshoi, shown here performing in 1986. She reinterpreted the role to tell the tale of a swan stubbornly refusing to age and performed the role at the age of 70.