Sergei Diaghilev: a celebration of his contribution to music on his birthday

Sergei Diaghilev in 1916 (Photo Tully Potter Collection)Sergei Diaghilev in 1916 (Photo Tully Potter Collection)

March 31 was the birthday (in 1872) of the Russian impresario Sergei Diaghilev (he died in 1929). His contribution to the arts – visual, ballet and music – in the 20th century was enormous. To celebrate the impact he had on music, here are some of the great scores that he commissioned (and here's the Rag-Mazurka from Poulenc's Les biches to listen to on Spotify – this will not work in some territories: apologies if this the case):

Nikolai Tcherepnin Narcisse et Echo The Hague Residentie Orchestra / Gennady Rozhdestvensky (Chandos) Buy from Amazon 

Claude Debussy Jeux Hallé Orchestra / Sir Mark Elder (Hallé) Buy from Amazon

Maurice Ravel Daphnis et Chloé MDR Rundfunkchor, Leipzig; Lyon National Orchestra / Jun Märkl (Naxos) Buy from Amazon

Erik Satie Parade New London Orchestra / Ronald Corp (Hyperion) Buy from Amazon

Manuel de Falla El Sombrero de Tres Picos Boston Symphony Orchestra / Seiji Ozawa (DG) Buy from Amazon

Richard Strauss Josephslegende Budapest Festival Orchestra / Iván Fischer (Channel Classics) Buy from Amazon

Sergei Prokofiev Ala and Lolly (reworked as the Scythian Suite and Chout) LSO / Claudio Abbado (DG) Buy from Amazon

Sergei Prokofiev Le pas d’acier and The Prodigal Son WDR SO Köln / Michail Jurowski (CPO) Buy from Amazon

Ottorino Respighi La Boutique Fantasque Montreal SO / Charles Dutoit (Decca) Buy from Amazon

Francis Poulenc Les biches Philharmonia / Georges Prêtre (EMI) Buy from Amazon

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