Sergei Diagalev persuaded Igor Stravinsky to rework a selection
of vocal and instrumental excerpts from a Baroque composer into
a forty-minute, one act ballet based on the character Pulcinella,
which dates back to ancient Rome. Dialgalev selected a story from
an 18 th Century Neapolitan manuscript about the young girls of
a neighborhood who are in love with Pulcinella. This creates a
climate of jealousy among the other young men who plot to kill
him. The men disguise themselves as Pulcinellas, wearing masks
with large noses, hoping to woo the young women back to them. A
murder is staged with Pulcinella brought back to life by a magician.
In the end, the magnanimous Pulcinella does spread happiness for
all. He arranges marriages for all the couples, and he weds his
lover Pimpinella. The work was considered a radical innovation.
The piece found a broader audience after Stravinsky reworked the
ballet into a twenty-five minute orchestral suite in 1947. In this
form the work is known throughout the world as a classical radio
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