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Diaghilev Dances

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Kenneth Hesketh

Kenneth Hesketh

General Info

Year: 2002
Duration: c. 15:00
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Faber Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $215.00   |   Score Only - $32.00


Full Score
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II (II doubles English Horn)
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Euphonium I-II
Tuba I-II
String Bass
Piano (doubling celesta)
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Gong (Tam-tam)
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Triangle
  • Tubular Bells
  • Vibraphone
  • Woodblock
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The idea for Diahilev Dances came from my interest in and love for the great ballet music of the early 20th century, much of which was commissioned by or written for the Russian impresario Serge Diaghilev (1872-1929). From 1909 to 1929, Diaghilev's company, the Ballets Russes, nurtured some of the leading composers of the time, including Stravinsky, Ravel, Debussy and Prokofiev. Not only music, but dance and art were all combined to produce some of the greatest works of the 20th century, and Diaghilev's legacy has influenced much of the ballet world that followed his premature death.

As a very young musician, I was spellbound by the sounds and colours of this music and have long wanted to put my own homage forward in honor of Diaghilev and the music he inspired. My work, Diaghilev Dances, could be considered a miniature ballet consisting of an introduction, three dances and three entr'actes. There is no actual scenario for the work, though I knew the piece would have a big dramatic sweep and would be balletic in shape. The primary theme, a very simple folk-like melody, acts as the binding thread to the work, being heard at the very beginning and at the end, whilst sections of material that accompany it can be found transformed into the main themes of the other dances.

My primary concern was to combine my own musical personality with the rich fin-de-siecle period of French and Russian music and, in doing so, offer a generous bow to a great tradition.

Diaghilev Dances was commissioned by the UK College Commission Consortium for 2003. The first performance of Diaghilev Dances was given by the Birmingham Conservatoire Wind Orchestra conducted by Guy Woolfenden in the Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham on March 4, 2003.

- Program Note by composer


Commercial Discography

State Ratings

  • Louisiana: V


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Irish Symphonic Wind Orchestra (Limerick) (Timothy Reynish, conductor) - 3 November 2019
  • Birmingham (England) Conservatoire Wind Orchestra (Guy Woolfenden, conductor) - 4 March 2003 *Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Hesketh, K. (2002). Diaghilev Dances: For Symphonic Wind Band [score]. Faber Music: Harlow, England.
  • Perusal Score