Dukas La Péri Fanfare Program Notes
In Persian mythology, a Péri, like the Western folkloric Fairy, has a morally ambiguous position: its magical powers can be used for positive ends or otherwise. For the 1911 Paris season of the Ballets Russes, Serge Diaghilev commissioned Dukas to compose a fantastical one-act ballet called La Péri, set in Iran. Briefly, the aged king Iskendar steals a magic flower of youth from the Péri. Now full of youthful energy, he falls in love with her, and she is able to steal the flower back: he dies. Dukas other popular work is The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, made immortal by Disney in the original Fantasia. The Fanfare from La Péri is often performed as a free-standing work, at processionals or even for the opening of a concert season!