Watch here: Stravinsky world premiere

Last night’s premiere of the funeral music Stravinsky wrote for Rimsky-Korsakov has been uploaded.

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  • for me the most interesting parts were the opening and closing 2 minutes. the whole middle was a bit too post-wagnerian for my taste. but those initial 2 minutes or so are very interesting in foreshadowing the more interesting parts of Firebird.

  • Beautiful piece. But I did not hear Stravinsky’s own description of the initial idea:

    “It was like a procession of all the soli instruments of the orchestra, coming in turns to each leave a melody in the form of a crown on the master’s tomb….” Just the murmuring was present at many places. Probably this was indeed the initial idea but he changed his mind later-on, and forgot what he really had written.

  • Wow! I loved it. Thank you Norman for uploading it. What a treat. Some observations if I may:
    1) If you didn’t know it was Stravinsky, you’d never guess. Sounds nothing like his famous works. At times I hear early Rachmaninoff, some Liadov, Gliere, maybe even Sibelius? Too bad he didn’t write more like this rather than his horrible serial experiments.
    2) This needs to get distributed quickly – and played! Is it published? Does anyone know?
    3) Someone besides Gergiev needs to record it – someone who won’t hum and groan along with the music.
    4) That orchestra has the coolest contrabassoon I’ve ever seen!

    • Regarding item 4, that contrabassoon is a model that descends to low-A. Normally, CBsn only plays to low-Bb. All the extra tubing (and therefore, it’s unusual height) is for the additional semi-tone.

      PS I found this piece and the performance very moving. IS wrote so many gems, some early, some serial, etc. It’s really a shame that such a small amount of his output is played regularly.

        • One can look on for a list of serial woks by IS.

          My two favourites (“gems” in my view):

          “In Memoriam Dylan Thomas” from 1954. (You can listen on YouTube if you don’t want to buy the recording that I love which Michel Lecocq’s.)

          Movements for Piano and Orchestra This YouTube video scrolls the printed music with the audio. Note – the orchestral material is given as a piano reduction.

          Thank you for “giving them a try.” I first encountered these pieces in my youth and they completely set my imagination on fire. Many many years later, they still delight and stimulate me.

          Several years ago a musician acquaintance asked (somewhat rhetorically) “Oh, are you still going through your Stravinsky Phase?” I replied, “No, my Stravinsky Phase was during my teens and twenties. Now I only admire him as a genius.”

    • You may notice that he did not use a podium in this concert. At first I wondered about that but then realized that with my own injured knee one of the most difficult and painful things is simply going up and down a step.

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