"The Age of Gold", ballet in three acts (original title: "Dynamiada").
Libretto. A Ivanovsky.
Premiere: October 26, 1930. The Kirov State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre in Leningrad. Choreographers: E. Kaplan and V. Vaionen. Conductor. A. Gauk.
The ballet "The Age of Gold" was re-staged in the Bolshoi Theatre of the USSR with a libretto by I. Glikman and Y. Grigorovich.
Premiere of the new production: November 4, 1982. Choreographer: Y. Grigorovich.
Manuscripts: Piano score in the Leningrad State Archive for Literature and Art (Stack 9539, No.23791).
Whereabouts of the hand-written score are unknown.
Premiere abroad: The ballet was staged in Duisburg, Berlin and Warsaw.
Opus 22ą. Suite for Orchestra from the music for the ballet "The Age of Gold"
First Performance: March 19, 1930. Orchestra of the Leningrad Philharmonia. Conductor A. Gauk.
First Edition: "Muzgiz" Publishers, Moscow, 1935.
Manuscripts: in the Glinka State Central Museum for Musical Culture (Stack 32, Item 39)
"Two elements underlie the music for the ballet 'The Age of Gold': music relating to modern Western European bourgeois culture and the music of proletarian culture. The juxtaposition of these two cultures was my main objective when composing 'The Age of Gold'. This objective was pursued as follows: the West-European dances are marked by unhealthy eroticism, so characteristic of modern bourgeois culture, while I held it to be vital to instil into the Soviet dances a spirit of healthy gymnastics and sport. I find it difficult to imagine the development of Soviet dance in any other way. I saw it as essential not just to write music easy to dance to, but also to dramatize the very
essence of the music, to lend the music true symphonic tension and dramatic progression."
("The Age of Gold". Brochure for the performance. Leningrad., 1930).
"...sets and costumes with yellow patches like sun spots... When after the incredibly dynamic action the whole cast suddenly stopped and glided slowly, as if in a 'rapid take' for a film, I stopped hearing the music because of the ovation in the hall... An unforgettable evening!"
(From a letter to an unknown correspondent. 1930)
"In my view the perform was a fiasco... <...> Perhaps you remember the story of how this ballet came into being? Let me remind you: I did my level best to turn down the proposed libretto <...>. One way or another the ballet got written. I am unable to defend it with enthusiasm, knowing as I do that 'The Age of Gold', because of its artistic content, is an anti-artistic work. The blame for my having written an anti-artistic work lies with you, Lyubinsky, Sollertinsky, Gordinsky and others. I take responsibility for the musical part of 'The Age of Gold', which I see as unusually successful (in comparison with many things I have written), but from now on I shall compose
music on subjects which really stir me. Failures (as I see them) like 'The Age of Gold' are not easy to come to terms with".
(From a letter to N. Smolich)