Stravinsky: Ballets (Live)

Authors:
Disc number in the directory:
MEL CD 1001990
Recorded:
1984, 1990
Release:
2012

History united the names of two geniuses, Igor Stravinsky and Sergei Diaghilev, in one of the brightest cultural phenomena of the previous century – the Russian Seasons in Paris. Stravinsky's three Russian ballets – The Firebird, Petrushka and The rite of Spring – were fruits of their collaborative creative process which also involved some of the most eminent representatives of the Russian visual arts (Alexander Golovin, Léon Bakst, Alexandre Benois and Nicholas Roerich) and outstanding masters of choreography (Michel Fokine, Tamara Karsavina and Vaslav Nijinsky).

In aggregate, these three ballets demonstrate the intensity of the composer's creative evolution and acutely unexpected stylistic "twists" that will be characteristic for him in future. An impressionistically lush, fairy-tale score of The Firebird which reflected the aestheticism of Mir iskusstva (World of Art) magazine with its cult of Beauty was followed by a rude and sappy picture of an intoxicated crowd having a good time in a Maslenitsa carnival in Petrushka inside of which puppets live, love and suffer experiencing truly human passions and erasing the border between the reality and their master the Charlatan's diminutive theatre. However, the phenomenon of The Rite of Spring is even more unexpected as it is folkloric to the core and at the same time cruel, dissonant and rhythmically brutal. Years after its premiere, The Rite of Spring was compared with "atom bomb explosion" in the European art, and it would be hard to overestimate its influence on all the music that followed.


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