|About this Recording
Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)
Pulcinella (ballet with song in one act)
The Firebird (ballet in two acts)
Running Time: Pulcinella: 40 min | Firebird: 56 min
Stravinsky, who was born in Oranienbaum near St. Petersburg in 1882, moved with his family to Switzerland in 1910. His neo-classical period between the years of 1920 and 1939 is indicated among other things by the dance comedy Pulcinella, which was written in 1919/20, a commedia dell'arte adaptation for mime artists and singers which was first performed by the Ballets russes at the Paris Opera House in 1920. Stravinsky had already composed his other major ballet success for Serge Diaghilev in 1909/10, L'Oiseau de feu (The Firebird), the work with which the composer's world renown was to begin. The service of bringing modern dance and New Music forward by huge leaps can only be ascribed to Stravinsky in conjunction with his impresario Serge Diaghilev (1872-1929), who was ten years his senior. The commissions of this inspired go-between of Russian art and western European modernism, including those for the subsequently formed Ballets russes, delineate the Great Master's period of brilliance from 1908/09 up until the death of Diaghilev in 1929.
Building on the Italian improvised comedy of the 17th and 18th centuries, choreographer Nils Christe, together with his set designer Tom Schenk and the costume designer Nelly van de Velden, created a vital and expressive dance version of Pulcinella for the Scapino Ballet Rotterdam which corresponded largely to the slapstick humor of the Italian example. This production of the ballet The Firebird was performed by the famous Royal Danish Ballet in 1982, with choreography by the American ballet master Glen Tetley.
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