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     The Ballet "Sacre du Printemps" ("Scenes of Pagan Russia") was composed by Igor Stravinsky in the beginning of 1913 on a libretto by Nikolai and Svyatoslav Roerichs. The premiere performance of the ballet took place on May 28 of the same year in Paris. The ballet was staged by V. Nizhinsky. Music of
this work, which is believed to be one of the most significant creative discoveries of the 20th century’s art, has not lost its freshness and novelty.
     The work consists of two parts. The first one is opened by an introduction, which presents the scene of nature’s awakening in spring. Gradually, primordial, boisterous forces are being firmly established. The acme of the first part is an episode - "Consecration of the Soil". The second part of the ballet depicts the somber scene of a human sacrifice. The final part - "Sacred Dance" turns into an explosion of accumulated tension, but here in the frenzied finale one can hear a mournful human voice.
     I. Stravinsky created his ballet "Jeu de Cartes" in 1937 at the request of ballet-master G. Balanchine. The ballet was staged in the New York Metropolitan Opera.
     The plot of the ballet is poker. That is why the author called it "ballet in three deals", during which the nimble and smart Joker, the major card in the deck and a main personage of the ballet, is constantly interfering with the game and often unexpectedly destroys the natural course of the game. Each "deal" starts with the same theme refrain – an energetic march-minuet.
     In the first "deal", there prevails a common understanding, sympathy. It does not last long, only till the moment when the game is joined by an impetuous Joker. However, the noble cards manage to repulse the Joker's onslaught and win a game. The second "deal" commences with the mysterious march. Significant are the variations, in which Stravinsky somehow makes a parody out of the charm and grace of the romantic ballet.
      In the third "deal" there develops the last and most reckless game. Again, Joker overturns the card combination. Their movements acquire a threatening manner. At this very moment a march refrain suddenly completes the ballet.

Igor Stravinsky

Sacre du Printemps, ballet
Scenes of Pagan Russia

1. Part I  The Adoration of the Earth – 15:40
Spring Fortune-Telling
Dance of Adolescents
Game of Abduction
Spring Rounds
Game of Rival Tribes
March of the Sage
The Adoration of the Earth (the Sage)
Consecration of the Soil

2. Part II  The Sacrifice –  18:20
Mysterious Circle of Adolescents
Honoring with Rites and Songs of the Chosen Maiden
Evocation of the Ancestors
Ritual of the Ancestors
Sacred dance (the Chosen Maiden)

3. Jeu de Cartes
Ballet in three deals – 23:45

Total time – 57:45