Continuity and change in Stravinskiy`s ballets. Стравинский и его балеты

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Continuity and change in Stravinskiy`s ballets. Written by: A. Bogdanov Penglais school 2005 Music to me is a power which justifies things. (I. Stravinskiy) Stravinskiy Igor Fyodorovich, the famous Russian composer of 20-th century was born in small village 17th June of 1882. His father was a famous exponent of the leading bass parts at the St. Petersburg`s Opera and the young Igor thus became familiar at the early age with the works of such Russian composers as Musorgskiy, Glinka, Dargomyzhskiy. One of the fellow-students, was the youngest son of Rimskiy-Korsakov, who introduced Stravinskiy to his father. From then until his death in 1908 Rimskiy-Korsakov played an important part in Stravinskiy`s early musical formation. At the age of twenty-seven Stravinskiy was already

famous, his first performance in Paris, on 25 June 1910, of his ballet “The Fire-bird”, produced by Dyagilev and Russian ballet, established him firmly in the eyes of the international musical world as a composer of genius with a big future before him. Stravinskiy throughout his career refused to go on repeating himself. With inexhaustible avidity he tackled new problems and pressed for new solutions. It happened more than once that a phase of his career seemed to move in the opposite direction from the one before. In retrospect, however, his various periods emerge as necessary stages in a continuous evolution toward greater purity of style and abstraction of thought. Stravinskiy began his compositional life as an exponent of the Russian National school. “The Fire-bird”

displays all the shimmer of Rimskiy-Korsakov`s orchestra along with influences of French Impressionism). Here, as in the works that followed, Stravinskiy worked within the frame of Russian folklore, drawing sustence from popular songs and dance. All the same, from the beginning he was aligned with those forces in Russian culture that were oriented toward the West – especially those that were receptive to clarity and grace. He therefore was free to move toward the universal values that underlie the classical outlook. “The Fire-bird” was written in 1910. In his firstwork for stage Sravinskiy followed his master Rimskiy-Korsakov and did choose a Russian fairy-tale as the subject of his ballet. He shows his acquaintance with contemporary French music very clearly, using

irregular ostinato rhythms. To create this story Stravinskiy used sections from an earlier work - the opening of “Fireworks”, with its resolute diatonic motifs. In “The Fire-bird” hero prince takes a folksong path to catch the Fire-bird, as the bird moves between tonalities and orchestral groupings in her rapid, melodic+rhythmic patterns patterns. In introduction to “The Fire-bord” Stravinskiy uses bass drum, cellos and double basses to set the dark, mysterious atmosphere of Kashchey`s garden, darting, rhytmic phrases for woowind. The piece ends with distant horn calls, and a ripple of notes from the piano. Dance of the firebird is made up of glittering flashes of sound for woodwind and piano. Later on there are intricate rhytmic patterns for the strings, and

colourful splashes of sound from the brass. Flourishes for piccolo and piano give the impression of swift, darting movements. In horovod - round dance - flutes play a canon – one flute starts with the tune, and second flute continue later with the same tune. The internal dance of king Kashchey is shown by vivid orchestral colours and syncopated rhytms, that mirror the twisting, darting movements of the evil magician. A shrieking chord for full orchestra – and a persistent rhytm begins on the kettle-drum, palyed with wooden sticks. The main theme is played with brass instruments. In the finale, Stravinskiy uses another Russian folk song indicating that he was a nationalist composerof this time. It is played in turn by horn, violins, atrings and woodwind, and full orchestra.