Naila : Work information

(Clément Philibert) Léo Delibes ( Music, Images,)
Léon (Fyodorovich) Minkus ( Music, Images,)
Performed by
Orchestre Symphonique de Radio-Télé-Luxembourg, Louis de Froment (Conductor)

This work

Work name
Work number
1866-01-01 02:00:00

This recording

Recording date

Track listing

  • Intermezzo 3:33 min


Delibes' first ballet, La Source or Naila as it's also known, was a collaboration with Léon Minkus in 1866. The older composer (Minkus) was given the majority of this fashionably oriental ballet to compose, the young Delibes only scoring Act II and the first scene of Act III. Nevertheless, it was the younger composer's music that was considered the more successful, the Pas des Voiles and Danse Circassiene proving particularly popular.

The Composers

(Clément Philibert) Léo Delibes

Delibes was born in France in 1836, and studied at the Paris Conservatory of Music.  Although he acheived no real distinction while there, he began to develop his style, and after graduating became famous as a master of ballet with his second work, Coppelia (1870).

It was not long until Delibes began composing opera and operetta.  Le Roi l'a dit (1873) was his first opera, performed at the Opera-Comique.  Jean di Nivelle (1880) and Lakme (1883) brought Delibes to the forefront of French stage composers.  Lakme was tremendously popular at the time, for the Far Eastern romance and mystery in its tale of love between a British officer and the daughter of an Indian priest.  Two of its songs, the Flower Duet and the Bell Song, are particularly well known today.  After his opera period, Delibes wrote a lot of religious music, including Les Filles de Cadiz.

Delibes was appointed professor of composition at the Paris Conservatory in 1881, and in 1884 was made a member of the Institut de France.  His final opera Kassya was finished by Massenet after Delibes' death in 1891.  His music is still frequently heard, attractive for its vivid melody and rich orchestration which highlights the voice beautifully.

- MIDI FILE - from "Lakme": Flower Duet (1'08'')

Léon (Fyodorovich) Minkus