Talk:Swan Lake (suite), Op.20a (Tchaikovsky, Pyotr)

Differences between Versions A and B

Tchaikovsky mentioned that extracting an orchestral suite from the ballet might be a good idea in a letter written to Jurgenson as the ballet's performances were coming to a close in September 1882. Jurgenson sent him full and piano scores for the ballet shortly thereafter, but there is no evidence Tchaikovsky ever got around to preparing the suite. A Swan Lake Suite of six movements was published by Jurgenson as "Op.20a" in November 1900 in full score, parts, and transcriptions for piano 4 hands and piano solo [listed as version A here]. Although no arranger is credited, Riccardo Drigo, who re-arranged the score for its 1895 revival in St. Petersburg, is a possible candidate.

Just to confuse the issue even more, ca.1954 Muzgiz issued a Swan Lake Suite, Op.20a a few years before they issued the volume (11) of the complete works for the Swan Lake ballet. This suite (version B) has eight movements instead of the six found in Jurgenson's score and no credit is given for the compilation. Although the first five movements were identical with the Jurgenson suite, the final movement was omitted and 3 dances from Act III were added. The 1954 date for the first issue of the Muzgiz suite is by no means absolute, as the full score (125 pages) was clearly made from modified Jurgenson plates of the ballet. Muzgiz would often print the date of the print run instead of the date of first issue of a given score. However, since the new plates for the complete works full score (1957) would not yet have been available, it is entirely possible that the Muzgiz suite could have been first issued in 1954, though it could date as far back as the 1920s or 1930s.