Les Adieux

J-Ch. Maillot

- Farewells -

Jean-Christophe Maillot, director of the National Choreographic Center of Tours, encounters the Ballets de Monte-Carlo in December 1986 for which creates Les Adieux.

Working under Prince Nikolaus Esterházy, a great lover of music, Haydn conducted an orchestra comprised of highly regarded members who were only able to be reunited with their families upon their master's rare few absences. Haydn served as a skilled, spiritual interpreter of this deep discontentment.
At the end of his Symphony No. 45, aptly known as "Farewell", a final unexpected adagio is played by all of the musicians. Two of them then stop playing, tidying away their sheet music and instruments, switching off the lights of their music stands, and departing. Their fellow musicians gradually follow suit in the same style, until just two violins remain, repeating the same haunting theme, like a kind of melancholic prayer. At the very end, the music dies along with the last two candles.

Touched by the beauty of the music, Prince Esterházy heard the message loud and clear, and granted the orchestra musicians their much-awaited leave.
This anecdote inspired the ballet choreographed by Jean-Christophe Maillot.

Choregraphy: Jean-Christophe Maillot
Music: Joseph Haydn
Scenography and costumes: Philippe Guilloux

Premiere held on December 1986 in Monte-Carlo.