Feu d'artifice

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Feu d'artifice

Feu d'artifice, Op. 4 (Fireworks, Russian: Фейерверк, Feyerverk) is an early composition by Igor Stravinsky, written in 1908. The work is an orchestral fantasy, and usually takes less than four minutes to perform.


Stravinsky composed Feu d'artifice as a wedding present for Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's daughter Nadezhda and Maximilian Steinberg, who had married a few days before her father's death. Feu d'artifice helped develop Stravinsky's reputation as a composer, although it is not considered representative of his mature work. The work has some hints of bi-tonality but is for the most part similar in style to that of Rimsky-Korsakov who, at the time, was his teacher and mentor. It has the form of a scherzo but is still labeled "orchestral fantasy" because of its short length. Alexander Siloti conducted the premiere on 6 February 1909. Stravinsky got the commission from Serge Diaghilev to write The Firebird (1910) in part because Diaghilev heard this piece of music, and was impressed with its orchestration.


The work is scored for piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes (2nd doubling cor anglais), 3 clarinets (3rd doubling bass clarinet), 2 bassoons, 6 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, cymbals, bass drum, triangle, glockenspiel, 2 harps, celesta, and strings.

Selected recorded versions[edit]

Notable recordings of the complete fantasy include:

Orchestra Conductor Record Company Year of Recording Format Notes
Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York Igor Stravinsky Columbia Masterworks MM 653 28 January 1946 78rpm, 4-disc set, 12-inch With The Firebird Suite
London Symphony Orchestra Antal Doráti Mercury Records 1959 CD
Montreal Symphony Orchestra Charles Dutoit Decca Records 1984 CD
Concertgebouw Orchestra Hans Werner Henze n/a 1985 TV [1]
Chicago Symphony Orchestra Seiji Ozawa RCA 1993 CD
Chicago Symphony Orchestra Pierre Boulez Deutsche Grammophon 1994 CD
Vienna Philharmonic Lorin Maazel RCA 2000 CD


  1. ^ Broadcast in 1985 by the Radio Nederland Transcription Service

External links[edit]