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Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)

Fireworks (Feu d'artifice)

This tiny fantasy for large orchestra shows the 26 year-old Stravinsky finding his compositional feet prior to composing his three great ballets - The Firebird, Petrushka and The Rite of Spring between 1909 and 1913. The work was written in celebration of the marriage of Rimsky-Korsakov's daughter, Nadezhda, to the composer Maximilian Steinberg in 1908. The happy couple were not, however, especially appreciative of the work and at its first performance the composer Glazunov thought Stravinsky a man of little talent. Crucially, though, the impressario Diaghilev was also present and, favorably impressed by the work, immediately invited the young composer to join his fledgling Russian Ballet Company where early successes catapulted Stravinsky to the front of the avant-garde.

Martin Ross

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