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Léo Delibes

February 21, 1836 - January 16, 1891
born in Saint-Germain-du-Val, Sarthe, France, composed during the Romantic period
Léo Delibes was the first notable composer of ballet to emerge after the death of Rameau, the art of ballet composition having suffered a period of neglect in the interim. Delibes was the first to craft a full-length ballet score with the care and distinction already common among the best opera composers; not only could he produce buoyant, memorable tunes, but he delivered them in sparkling orchestrations. He also wrote several operas, of which Lakmé -- which generated one popular aria (the "Bell Song") and a now-ubiquitous duet -- is the best known.

Delibes studied at the Paris Conservatory under Adolphe Adam. In 1853, he became accompanist at the Théâtre-Lyrique, moving to the same position at the prestigious Paris Opéra ten years later. His great success as a composer of music for the theater in the 1870s and early 1880s gained him a professorship in composition at the conservatory in 1881, and membership in the French Institute in 1884.

The French did not place much value on instrumental music during Delibes' youth, so the emerging composer concentrated on light-hearted operettas and farces in the manner of Offenbach. His first opportunity to work on a large ballet score came in 1866, when he collaborated with Ludwig Minkus on La Source. The success of this ballet led eventually to commissions for the two works that would again raise ballet music to its highest level: Coppélia (1870), based on a story of E.T.A. Hoffmann, and Sylvia (1876), based on a mythological theme. The former is still produced regularly; both light, graceful works generated concert suites that, although not as common in the concert hall as they might be, have been frequently recorded.

Meanwhile, Delibes honed his skill as an opera composer. Most notable are his opéra comique Le Roi l'a dit (1873) and his more serious, exotic Lakmé (1883). Delibes's church music (he once worked as an organist) has fallen by the wayside, as have most of his colorful songs, with the exception of Les Filles de Cadiz, which exudes the same Franco-Spanish air as Bizet's Carmen.

His most important work, clearly, was for the stage, particularly those two 90-minute ballet scores. Their significance, beyond their own merits, is the direct influence they had on Tchaikovsky, whose mastery of the symphonic ballet owes everything to Coppélia and Sylvia. ~ James Reel, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Delibes: Lakmé / Bonynge, Opéra de Monte-Carlo

Disc 1
Title: Lakmé, Opera
Disc 2
x

Track List: Delibes: The 3 Ballets

Disc 1
Title: Coppélia, Ou La Fille Aux Yeux D'émail, Ballet
Disc 2
Title: Sylvia, Ou La Nymphe De Diane, Ballet
Disc 3
Title: La Source, Ou Naïla, Ballet (Collaboration With Léon Minkus)
Disc 4
x

Track List: The Best Of French Ballet

Title: Coppélia, Suite For Orchestra
Title: Sylvia, Suite From The Ballet
Title: La Source, Ou Naïla, Ballet (Collaboration With Léon Minkus)
Title: Le Roi S'amuse, Incidental Music ("Six Airs De Danse Dans Le Style Ancien")
Title: Kassya, Opera (Completed And Orchestrated By Massenet)

Comments

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Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will be injured(but won't die) in two days. Now you started reading this so don't stop. Post this on at least five other songs in the next 143 minutes when your done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is so scary because it actually works
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It is so soothing.
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The company I dance with just fix Coppelia. It was so fun and I loved the music.
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Always enjoyed playing Delibes' music.
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The best. Ever
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Merci, Delibes! C'est Magnifique.
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makes studying for my org chem I final enjoyable
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perfect for ballet!
I am a dancer.
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Is this a apra
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Delibes , Lakme ,Magnifique !
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Soothes every cell...
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temuss
Hi
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temuss
Hi
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temuss
Hi
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temuss
Hi
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temuss
Hi
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temuss
Hi
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I am dancing to this in my living room
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jayleibug03
I love ballet because it has no words it's just music and dance and the music has a story in it and u act it out with a dance called ballet
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Heaven
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zakitawoodru f f
Music soothes the savage beast.
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How is a balloon ride gentle? ha. It's scary
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This very great music and also relaxing !!
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Nice
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caseylynngor m a n 1 2 3 1
A gentle balloon ride to another world of carefree gayety
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Hoooooooolee e e e freakin COW, I LUV his music~ ALL of it!!! =-O :-) :-D :-D :-) =-O
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lahoudmichae l 3
Wonderful
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pmars64
The version on The Hunger soundtrack (1980 Catherine Deneuve/Davi d Bowie/Susan Sarandon vampire flik) is the best I've heard.
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Dream like
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oldcatsiron
Beautiful listening!
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lmenten
Dance of the Blessed Spirits. Gluck
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lmenten
mislabeled
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I remember playing this song at one of my spring concerts. First time I ever heard the song and I fell in love with it.
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Lovely
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Ahhhhhh..... . . . .
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Wasn't this song in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, at the dance?
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Ahhh this does make one melt! This is emotionally riveting music!
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Donna Bella si lo comprisino perfecto!
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paultwatson
I do melt
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Soothing and beautiful!
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271998418
Whether sung or played with only instruments, one of the most graceful, ethereal and amazing pieces out there.
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Coppelia....
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oriana.padil l a 0 8 3
Ethereal duet♥♥♥Danke
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Takes u to another era..just beautiful
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I wanna be a opera singer one day.....
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And Lakme
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I looooooooooo o o o o o v e Sylvia...
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So soft and alluring
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This is timeless.... . s o graceful...s o f t . . y e t powerful enough to demand time and peace to listen...for e v e r
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kashill
@mireya1229: omg i'm competing a variation from paquita & a variation from la Esmeralda in San Diego in 3 days w/ Master Ballet Academy!!!!! I'm Leanne Fromm...
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