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Between 13 and 25 December 1923 the Gurdjieff Institute gave a series of eight public demonstrations of the Sacred Gymnastics and Movements at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. The music, composed by Gurdjieff to accompany these dances, was orchestrated by Thomas de Hartmann and performed by an orchestra of thirty-five musicians.
In January 1924, Gurdjieff and his pupils sailed to America for a series of public demonstrations in New York, Boston, and Chicago. At Gurdjieff`s request, de Hartmann adapted the full orchestral scores for a smaller ensemble that would accompany the demonstrations there. The four CDs enclosed with this book contain both the Paris orchestrations and the American versions, all recorded for the first time by the Metropole Orchestra and the Little Orchestra. An addenda section features music intended for Gurdjieff ’s unfinished ballet The Struggle of the Magicians.
In order to complete the reconstruction of the orchestral Gurdjieff/ de Hartmann music, the Oriental Suite, compiled by de Hartmann in 1956, is included as well.
The 256-page book is profusely illustrated with many new photos and unique historical documents. It further contains recollections of people who were present when these demonstrations were given, as well as a sampling of the extensive press coverage generated by the Gurdjieff Institute during its first—and final—public appearance.