One of the most impressive calling cards in musical history, The Firebird is a work of such brilliance that it could only have been written by Stravinsky, mixing the orchestral mastery of his Russian mentors with the rhythmic vitality of the revolutionary about to burst out of his shell. With the help of a magic firebird, the hero, Prince Ivan, rescues a group of spellbound princesses from the clutches of evil magician, Kastcheï. The music is atmospheric, imaginative and melodious and the whirling, nightmarish Infernal Dance is a tour de force of orchestral brilliance. Shostakovich’s witty Piano Concerto No.1 scored for piano, trumpet and strings is clear proof of the young composer’s carefree and almost overconfident attitude, full of parodies and jokes to musical slapstick. Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony is imbued with his love of nature. Opening with bucolic tranquility with bubbling brooks, birdcalls and scenes of rustic life, a thunderstorm violently intrudes, before serenity is restored in the final, uplifting Shepherds’ Song of Thanksgiving.

Works and composers

Beethoven Symphony No.6 'Pastoral'
Shostakovich Piano Concerto No.1
Stravinsky The Firebird (1919)

Supported by

The Michael and Ilse Katz Foundation