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Key Stravinsky score, lost since 1909, has turned up in St Petersburg

September 6, 2015 by norman lebrecht

7 comments.


Stephen Walsh, the composer’s biographer, reports today in the Observer that the ode written by Igor Stravinsky on the death of his teacher, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, has turned up in a backroom at the Rimsky Conservatoire.

Pogrebal’naya Pesnya (Funeral Song) received one performance at the Conservatoire in January 1909 and was never seen again. Walsh says that Stravinsky, still unknown, was upset that it had failed to be selected for any of Rimsky’s memorial concerts. Read full story here.

stravinsky young


Comments (7)

  1. esfir ross says:

    Great picture! Who’s the wonderful painter?

    1. 18mebrumaire says:

      The artist is Jacques-Emile Blanche (1861-1942). The portrait (dated 1915) is part of the collection of the Musee d-Orsay and is currently exhibited at the Cite de la Musique. Blanche also painted portraits of Proust, Louys, Beardsley and Les Six. (Apologies for missing accents!)

    2. William Godfree says:

      Jacques-Émile Blanche (1861 – 1942)

      1. John Borstlap says:

        Stravinsky reports in his ‘Conversations’ that JEB would studiously paint the faces of his sitters, and add all the rest – background, torso, arms, legs – ‘in absentia’, so that S found himself with much longer legs that were there, and strolling along a French coast where he had never been. Blanche came the next morning after the première of the Firebird which made S famous overnight. He did not want to miss a celebrity.

  2. Jonathan M. Dunsby says:

    Any news about a possible performance ?

  3. Brian says:

    This work has sometimes been titled “Chant funèbre” written for wind instruments. Any idea if it is indeed a work for wind band?

  4. M2N2K says:

    According to at least one Russian source ( http://izvestia.ru/news/591049 ), it is a piece for “triple” symphony orchestra – probably meaning that there are parts for three of each wind instrument, but including strings too. This particular article about this fortunate recent discovery mentions that an opening phrase of the piece played by doublebasses was, with only minor changes, later used by the composer in the opening section of his great Firebird.


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