Stravinsky - the Firebird Suite: an Analysis Essay
1380 WordsJun 1st, 20076 Pages
IGOR STRAVINSKY (1882-1871)
The Firebird Suite (1910; version from 1919)
Introduction - The Firebird and its Dance
Round of the Princesses (Khorovod)
Infernal Dance of King Kaschei
The first of Igor Stravinsky's three famous early ballets, The Firebird is the most traditional and derivative. While The Firebird, similar to Petrushka and The Rite Of Spring, is unquestionably one of Stravinsky's masterpieces, if considered strictly historically it can be, with some justice, viewed as warmed-over Rimsky-Korsakov (the device of contrasting a folkloristic, diatonic style representing human characters, with a highly chromatic style reserved for depicting the supernatural had its most conspicuous use in Rimsky's…show more content…
Although it was The Firebird ballet, first performed in Paris in 1910, that began his international career, and although the orchestral suite has remained his most popular work, he was still a little embarrassed by it years afterwards. The original "wastefully large" instrumentation he revised in 1919, when he wrote a second suite, and again in 1945, when he put together a third and longer orchestral suite. Such critical actions, he said, "are stronger than words."
The scenario for Firebird, as adapted by Fokine, follows an old Russian folk tale. The Tsarevitch, Prince Ivan, is hunting the elusive Firebird, and during the night he wanders into a magical garden (Introduction). As he walks through the garden he sees the Firebird, a beautiful bird with dazzling plumage (The Firebird and her Dance and Firebird Variation). Ivan captures the Firebird, but agrees to let her go free, after taking one of her feathers as a trophy. At sunrise, Ivan meets thirteen princesses, who have come into the garden to dance and play with golden apples from the garden's orchard (Round-Dance of the Princesses). Ivan learns that the garden belongs to the evil magician-king Kaschei, who has enchanted the princesses, and who has the ability to turn his enemies into stone. The prince, now in love with one of the princesses, vows to enter Kaschei's castle and free his beloved. As soon as he
Igor Stravinsky Essay
533 Words3 Pages
In the passage by Igor Stravinsky, he uses not only comparison and contrast, but also language to convey his point of view about the conductors of the time and their extreme egotism. Stravinsky believes that conductors exploit the music for their own personal gain, so rather, he looks on them in a negative light.
To show his aggravation and irritation, Stravinsky uses the rhetorical device of comparison and contrast to convey his opinion of conductors. He compares the "great" conductors to "great" actors in that "[they] are unable to play anything but themselves". Moreover, being unable to adapt, they have to adapt the work to themselves, not themselves to the work, which is obviously offending to a notable composer…show more content…
This contrasts the motives of the composer and the conductor, which should be to keep the integrity of the piece of music, but as mentioned above, Stravinsky believes that the conductor's are usually for personal gain.
The negative point of view that Stravinsky has for the conductors is also revealed through the use of language, literal and figurative language. Stravinsky uses both literal and figurative language because they have the power to portray reality. In this piece, the word "great" is used sarcastically to show the contrast between what the conductors think of themselves and what he thinks of them. They both are reality, but reality to two different people, so using "great" in a sarcastic manner allows for both Stravinsky's and the conductors' interpretations of reality. In this case, the denotation and the connotation are different, making them important. Here the denotation of the word "great" is wonderful, majestic, and important, while the connotation is the exact opposite, ignoble, insignificant, and inferior. Literal language tells the apparent truth, while figurative language tells the apparent truth it also tells the indirect truth, making language important in this piece.
In conclusion, Stravinsky airs his annoyance and irritation of