As I was cooking my Russian Easter food we decided to go a bit further. We had a side table with a disassembled Russian doll and, as I was prepping the Kulebiaka for the oven, we put on some Russian music – which meant listening to The Rite of Spring and The Firebird. Of course a lot of this was covered by kitchen noises, so I listened to a different rendition of it from YouTube where you see the conductor get more and more dishevelled at the piece progresses.
When first listening to The Firebird I didn’t know it was by Stravinsky (just as a note, I wasn’t the one who put it on, I was just told this was Russian classical music), so I am very proud of myself for recognising that this piece has a frenetic kinship with The Rite of Spring. I know it’s a small thing, but me being able to link these pieces together by the sound of them really shows that this 1001 list is starting to educate me.
This is another piece of music that I have listened to for the list that originated as a ballet. As a piece, it tells the Russian folk tale of The Firebird (for a good re-telling of this, I would recommend the Myths and Legends podcast episode); something that is lost when just listening to it.
Still, The Firebird is notable for being the piece that brought Stravinsky to wider attention and helped him to become viewed as one of the (then) new generation of Russian composers. It will be interesting to see how he will develop from here and after The Rite of Spring whereupon he became more independent and delved into Neoclassicism… but I probably won’t get there for a long time.