"Wiley's analysis of the musical background of the choreography of the Tchaikosvky-Petipa ballets is fascinating....I find it refreshing to read a musicologist's view, rather than a dance historian's, because of the minute analysis it offers of how the music itself influences the choreography."--Deborah Jowitt, Lingua Franca
"Wiley is thoroughly conversant with the large Russian literature on Tchaikovsky's ballets. It will be one of the book's important contributions that it introduces Western readers to this material and offers a critical assessment of it....An important and pioneering work. He articulates an approach to the study of a composite work of art that is seldom pursued in musicological research on ballet....The scope of documented information alone will make his book indispensable for scholars, performers, and ballet lovers alike."--Journal of the American Musicological Society
"[Wiley's] evaluations of Chaikovskii's music, illuminating the master's musical innovations, and his comprehensive history of each ballet, tracing the ballets' origins, composition, and first productions, will delight music-lovers and balletomanes alike....Wiley's penetrating musical analyses of each ballet...give rare insight into Chaikovskii's musical genius often overlooked in studies of his ballet music....Eschewing ideology, Wiley far exceeds his Soviet counterparts with his comprehensive and significant analyses....[His] substantial and engrossing reassessments of these monuments of Russian ballet establish them as great artistic and musical achievements."--Slavic Review
"Wiley has dug deep into the Russian archives, scrutinizing not only books and contemporary newspapers, but every manuscript source he could uncover....Yet Wiley has not given us a dull, austere treatise; there is plenty of humanity and local color in his descriptions of the ballet audience in nineteenth-century Russia...we should be grateful that he has brought us that much closer to an understanding of these three extraordinary highlights of our dance heritage."--Dance Research Journal
"An authoritative, important, useful book on dance, based on primary source materials, meticulously researched, and intelligently presented....Tchaikovsky's Ballets
inevitably forces us to reassess our views...and Tchaikovsky must be recognized as the virtual creator of modern ballet."--New Criterion
About the Author
Roland John Wiley is at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.