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||Naxos 8.550263||730099427425|
|Balakirev: Symphony No. 2/Symphonic Poems||USSR State Symphony Orchestra, Evgeni Svetlano||Hyperion CDA66586||672487101268|
|Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade||Chicago Symphony, Fritz Reiner||RCA Red Seal 82876-66377-2||828766637724|
|Rimsky-Korsakov Suites||Scottish National Orchestra, Neeme Jarvi||Chandos 10369(2) X||095115136928|
|Works of Igor Stravinsky [Symphony in E flat]||Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Stravinsky||Sony 88697103112-08||886971031126|
|Stravinsky: The Firebird, etc. [“Fireworks”]||London Symphony Orchestra, Antal Dorati||Mercury Living Presence 432 012-2||028943201223|
|Stravinsky: The Firebird||Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Simon Rattle||EMI Classics 724358553826||724358553826|