Personalities | Léo Delibes | Late Romantic | Classical

(La-o’ De-lebz’) 1836–91
French composer

Known as ‘the father of modern ballet’, Delibes studied with Adolphe Adam and after his first ballet, La Source (1866), composed two enduring masterpieces: Coppélia (1870), which combines brilliantly orchestrated mazurkas, czardas, waltzes and boleros with dramatic symphonic music; and Sylvia (1876), best known as a concert suite, its delightful ‘Pizzicato’ popularized in film and television. Tchaikovsky greatly admired and was influenced by these works. After the opéra comique Le roi l’a dit (‘The King has Said It’, 1873) came Delibes’ operatic masterpiece, Lakmé (1883), influenced by both Bizet and Wagner, with its exotic ‘bell song’. Delibes was awarded the Légion d’Honneur and was elected to the French Institut. Kassya, his last opera, was completed by Massenet, and staged in 1893.

Recommended Recording:
Lakmé, soloists, Capitole Chorus & Orchestra, Toulouse (cond) Michel Plasson (EMI/Erato)

Introduction | Late Romantic | Classical
Personalities | Henri Duparc | Late Romantic | Classical


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