• Lord Berners
  • The Triumph of Neptune: Suite (solo piano) (1926)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)
  • pf
  • 5 min

Programme Note

The Triumph of Neptune was written for Diaghilev’s Russian ballet to a harlequinade scenario by Sacheverell Sitwell. In the face of Diaghilev’s lack of enthusiasm for modern English painting, Sitwell had the brilliant idea of basing the sets and costumes on the penny-plain, tuppence-coloured traditional toy theatre prints of which there then were two exponents still working in London. Diaghilev was enchanted, and managed to secure some original, spangly, foil-stone pantomime costumes for his dancers. Cyril W Beaumont’s The Diaghilev Ballet in London contains a mouth-watering description of the production. The choreography was by Balanchine, later director of the New York City Ballet. The cast included Danilova, Soklova, Lifar and Balanchine himself. There were waltzes, hornpipes, classical dances and spectacular scenes called ‘Cloudland’ or ‘The Frozen Forest’ (the latter known to the Lyceum stage hands as ‘Wigan by Night’).

© Ronald Crighton

This piano suite of the Triumph of Neptune consists of three movements from the original 45 minute work: Harlequinade, Sunday Morning (Intermezzo) and Hornpipe.