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Lambert provided the following statement of the ‘theme’ of his ballet: ‘When people are born they have the sun in one sign of the Zodiac, the moon in another. This ballet takes for its theme a man who has the sun in Leo and the moon in Gemini, and a woman who also has the moon in Gemini but whose sun is in Virgo. The two opposed signs of Leo and Virgo, the one energetic and full-blooded, the other timid and sensitive, struggle to keep the man and the woman apart. It is by their mutual sign, Gemini, that they are brought together, and by the moon that they are finally united.’
Horoscope was first produced at Sadler’s Wells in January 1938. Ashton was the choreographer, Michael Somes danced the Man, Fonteyn the Woman; Lambert himself conducted. It was typical of Lambert’s involvement in all artistic aspects of his work that for the cover of the published scores (orchestral and piano) he arranged for a horoscope chart to be specially drawn by Edmund Dulac. The concert suite accounts for about two-thirds of the complete score (25 minutes out of 35).
from notes by Christopher Palmer © 1990