Igor Stravinsky

Igor Stravinsky is considered to be one of the most influential composers of the 20th century. He first achieved international fame and success with three ballets commissioned by Sergei Diaghilev. These were The Firebird, Petrushka, and The Rite of Spring. It was mostly The Rite of Spring that solidified Stravinsky’s reputation as a compositional revolutionary and changed the way composers thought of rhythmic structure. It is thought of as the icon of 20th century music and even caused a riot in the audience at its premiere.

I have always loved the Firebird Suite, and I thought I would share a clip of Stravinsky conducting part of it. If you’re not as into Firebird or classical music as I am, you can start 6 minutes in.  That’s the best part!

Savanna Lawing


5 thoughts on “Igor Stravinsky

  1. I’m not very well educated on terms of music theory and stuff, but I could definitely tell a difference between this style of music and the music of earlier ballets. I watched the entire video and the differences are more subtle in the beginning, but once you get to the six minute mark as Savanna suggested it becomes really dramatic and doesn’t even sound like something you would expect to hear at a ballet. The sharp bursts of percussion and horns are in high contrast to the mostly airy and light music or at least less blunt music of earlier times. I can see how this would be revolutionary because it is so different and sharp sounding.

    Abby Jones

  2. It’s surprising to me that this was the score for a ballet, and not for a movie from the mid 20th century. It seems more fitted for a dramatic movie rather than a ballet! Either way I really enjoyed listening to this clip. I had heard it before on a Pandora station; I think it’s very interesting that the scores from older ballets are still appreciated today, and I think it proves that the arts, especially music and dance, have a much longer lasting impact than people would expect.

    Kelsey Haywood

  3. I agree with Kelsey, the music seems like it would be found in a dramatic movie score rather than a ballet. But after watching the ballet that this goes to, it makes sense. This was a serious time of change and caused many riots because the content was so different than what people were accustomed.

    Lian Dellasala

  4. I found the beginning of the suite to be a little dark sounding, perhaps because it was in more of a minor key. At the six minute marker I found that the rhythm of the music picked up and the sound was very intense and dramatic. I liked the contrast between the beginning of the number and the end because it kept the audience intrigued
    Mackenzie Randolph

  5. I think the music he produced is purely amazing. As mentioned before, he stepped outside of the typical boundaries for ballet music but I appreciate it and think it adds more drama and emotion to it. The music should change with the plot of the ballet, which it does, since it starts out slower and more ominous and then explodes in intensity.

    Danielle Gardner

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