The Taming of the Shrew
Ballet by John Cranko based on William Shakespeare
Music by Kurt-Heinz Stolze based on Domenico Scarlatti
Première at the Ballett der Bayerischen Staatsoper on 25th March 1976 at the Nationaltheater München
Kurt-Heinz Stolze über die Musik
The music for „The Taming of the Shrew“ is drawn from the huge legacy of more than 550 Sonatas for piano left by the great Neapolitan composer Domenico Scarlatti (1685 – 1757), a contemporary of Johann Sebastian Bach.
The model followed for the application and melding together of these themes from the various scores was Strawinsky’s Suite from Pulcinella, drawn from themes by Pergolesi. “After Scarlatti” is to be interpreted in a broad sense: variations on themes from the Sonatas are utilized, appearing sometimes as brief sketches and sometimes in a more formal style, typical of the composer. Occasionally hints of the baroque sound-idiom common to the two-part choral works or the concerto grosso of the period may be detected. The orchestra is set up as follows: eleven solo winds together with piano and percussion are placed opposite a chamber string group. Whatever the arrangement, Scarlatti’s colorful, diverse, vital music provides the ideal background for this ballet-comedy.