is an ‘Air de Ballet’ presumably extracted from Chaminade’s orchestral ballet of the same name. I have been unable to establish whether the scenario relates to the mythological Callirhoë, the wife of Alcmaeon, whose lover Zeus caused her infant sons to grow instantly into men to avenge her husband’s murder; or Callirhoë the virgin of Calydon, who was vainly wooed by a Priest of Dionysus. Nor does it matter: the piano piece clearly has nothing to do with Ancient Greece. This is a giddy little polka in G major, not far removed from the atmosphere of the Folies bergères
– yet also an instance of exploratory pianism, taking over Liszt’s notational innovation of two notes on a single bifurcated stem to accommodate the giggling crushed semitones which so naughtily spice up the harmony.
from notes by Calum MacDonald © 1992