In this week’s episode of Classical Music, Yo, I compulsively went to Royal Festival Hall for the third time because I had tickets for Stravinsky’s Firebird, performed by the Philharmonia Orchestra.
I have my mom to thank for this one. She played a lot of classical music on vinyl when I was growing up, esp ballet scores. I heard The Firebird several times as a child, so I knew I was going to like it.
Here’s a Philharmonia listening guide, that is, a short, 7-minute documentary. Stravinsky wrote the music at 26 and in 1910 it was ‘the hottest ticket in town’, in the words of presenter Paul Rissman.
Here’s the music, conducted by Stravinsky himself as a much older man.
Here’s a clip of the ballet for which the music was written.
And here’s one version of the story; there are others, the Firebird is a figure that recurs in Slavic folklore. This is a nice animated version with English subtitles. Like all good fairytales, it has princes and princesses, dark forests, wolves, golden apples, etc.
I had a date with me, for a change. That red-haired model who kissed me at the tube station. I wore a dress, naturally, he was as gorgeous as the music and how appropriate that he had red hair. It was all-round excellent. He is such a handsome man, I want to go out with him more than I want to stay in with him because it is a shame to waste his beauty by keeping it indoors.