Thursday, November 4, 2010

Stravinsky was one of the most influential composers of his time. His musical style was so far on the cutting edge of what people were willing to call "music" that his works literally caused riots in the streets of Paris. His use of texture and color within his pieces shows a mastery of orchestration and a deep knowledge of every instrument in the orchestra. Much of his inspiration came from the works of impressionist composers Ravel and Debussy. With an added primal and earthy undertone, he created a sound that people had never heard before.

I find his work fascinating and I still get chills down my spine when I hear the Firebird Suite. The contrast of simplicity and intricacy of his works has always caught my attention, whether I am playing his music or listening to it. His works are still used today and you have probably heard them without even knowing it. Have you ever seen the original Fantasia? Remember the piece that had the fighting dinosaurs? That's Stravinsky!

This is a scene from the ballet, The Rite of Spring

Stravinsky New Grove Biography
For this link you will probably have to sign into your western account. This site has everything you could ever want to know about the life of Stravinsky. There is a full Biography based on his musical career as opposed to a purely chronological base.
Firbird Suite (full score)
This is the full orchestral score to Stravinsky's Firebird Suite. If you look at it you will note that he uses the full range of texture and rage of the instrumentation.
Stravinsky Conducts the Firebird
This is video footage of Stravinsky, himself, conducting the last two movements of the Firebird.
Fantasia 2000 Firebird
This is the Fantasia 2000 rendition of Stravinsky's Firebird.