About This Song
“Swan Lake, Op. 20” is a ballet composed by Tchaikovsky in 1875–1876. The scenario, initially in four acts, was fashioned from Russian folk tales and tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer’s curse. The ballet was premiered by the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow. The origins of the ballet Swan Lake are rather obscured, and since there are very few records concerning the first production of the work to have survived, there can only be speculation about who the author of the original libretto was. According to two of Tchaikovsky’s relatives, the composer initially created a little ballet called The Lake of the Swans at their home in 1871. This ballet featured the famous Leitmotif known as the Swan’s Theme. The score of Swan Lake was commissioned in 1875 for a rather modest fee of 800 rubles, and soon the ballet was created. This arrangement by Stevan Pasero includes some easy waltz-like melodies and chords along with more complex scale runs and fingerboard position changes.