Stockholm Concert Hall
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
Sakari Oramo conductor
Kirill Gerstein piano
Elina Vähälä, violin
Stravinsky is the great icon of twentieth-century music! No one else has left this kind of impression on the history of modern music. Best known and most popular are the great ballets, the Rite of Spring, the Firebird and Petrushka, which were commissioned by ballet impresario Sergei Diaghilev, artistic director of the Russian ballet company the Ballets Russes in Paris.
Here, we will experience the incredible music of Petrushka, which was initially intended to be a piano concerto. But Diaghilev saw its potential as music for ballet and set the action in a Russian amusement park. The attractions would include a traditional Russian puppet show and when Stravinsky composed the music, he saw before him the image of a doll that came to life, and tested the orchestra’s patience with demonic cascades of piano arpeggios.
Stravinsky was a skilled pianist and he composed the Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments to perform himself. As he asserted in interviews, he did not want any “incompetent or romantic hands” to interpret this music. When World War II broke out, Stravinsky moved to the US, where he became a major celebrity. When he composed the perpetually fascinating and neoclassical sounds of the Concerto in D for String Orchestra, he was spending his days in Hollywood.
Igor Stravinsky Concerto in D for String Orchestra 12 min
Igor Stravinsky Concerto for piano and wind instruments 20 min
Intermission 25 min
Igor Stravinsky Petrouchka (1947 version) 42 min