The Firebird Connection
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Detail from a 19th century Russian lacquer box
Long before Igor Stravinsky’s celebrated ballet of 1910, the Firebird legend had for years haunted Russian art and music as a figure of irrepressible and unattainable beauty.
In fact, Stravinsky’s teacher, the composer Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, wrote of a failed attempt in the 1860s by his own teacher, Mily Balakirev, to produce a musical treatment of the Firebird legend--a work now lost.
Well, not quite….
In this hour, how Balakirev used his unfinished Firebird as the basis for a new work that would chart a different direction for Russian music—one that would inspire Rimsky-Korsakov and others--and a half century later, launch Stravinsky’s amazing career.
|Stravinsky: Firebird Suite
||Brussels BRT Philharmonic Orchestra, Alexander Rahbari
|Balakirev: Symphony No. 2/Symphonic Poems
||USSR State Symphony Orchestra, Evgeni Svetlano
||Chicago Symphony, Fritz Reiner
||RCA Red Seal 82876-66377-2
||Scottish National Orchestra, Neeme Jarvi
||Chandos 10369(2) X
|Works of Igor Stravinsky [Symphony in E flat]
||Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Stravinsky
|Stravinsky: The Firebird, etc. [“Fireworks”]
||London Symphony Orchestra, Antal Dorati
||Mercury Living Presence 432 012-2
|Stravinsky: The Firebird
||Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Simon Rattle
||EMI Classics 724358553826