Considered the most ‘Russian’of Stravinsky’s major works, the origin of The Firebird lies in the impresario Sergey Dyagilev’s cost-cutting decision to concentrate on ballet, rather than opera. It takes its place in a lineage stretching from Glinka to Scriabin, making it an amalgam of Russian music past and present. Its first performance, at the Paris Opéra in 1910, was a phenomenal success and assured Stravinsky’s future as a composer. This transcription for solo piano is Stravinsky’s own, also dating from 1910.
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