Leo Delibes was a French composer (1836-1891) who wrote music for ballet, opera, and other stage works. His music was influential on composers such as Tschaikovsky, Saint-Saens, and Debussy. His best known works are the opera, Lakme, and the ballet, Coppelia.


The comic ballet story of Coppelia is about a mysterious inventor, Doctor Coppelius, who made a life-size female doll. In the village, a young man named Franz sees the doll and falls in love with her, thinking she is real. Franz's fiance, Swanhilde, is jealous, and sneaking into the Doctor's laboratory, hides the doll and dresses up like her and pretends to come to life, to show Franz his stupidity. Franz is captured and drugged by the somewhat diabolical Doctor, who tries to infuse Franz's soul into the doll to make it come alive. So when the doll starts dancing, the Doctor thinks he has succeeded in infusing a soul, all the while Swanhilde is making fools of them all.


Antonin Dvorak was a Czech composer (1841-1904) who often used themes of the folk music of Moravia and his native Bohemia. He wrote many works including operas, symphonies, choral, and chamber music. His best-known works include the New World Symphony (No. 9), the Slavonic Dances, and the Cello Concerto in B minor.


The New World Symphony was written in 1893 during Dvorak's visit to the United States from 1892 to 1895. It was inspired by his interest in Native American music and African-American spiritual themes. It is Dvorak's most popular work and is often performed and recorded. Presented here is the 4th movement (Allegro con fuoco).


Maurice Ravel was a French composer (1875-1937) who belonged to the Impressionist school of music. His works are known for their melodies, orchestral and instrumental textures and effects. He achieved great fame during his lifetime, and many of his compositions are part of the standard concert repertoire.

BOLERO (16:07)

Ravel's Bolero is a unique orchestral work that premiered in 1928. It has become Ravel's most famous work, although Ravel himself felt the work to be trivial. It is a one-movement composition based on the musical form and Spanish dance called bolero. It takes a beautiful theme and continually repeats it, with various instruments taking their turn. The piece is a graceful procession that gradually builds into a forceful finish.