Feu d'artifice

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This article is about the orchestral composition by Igor Stravinsky. For the piano piece "Feux d'artifice" by Claude Debussy, see Préludes (Debussy).
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 about five minutes to perform.

Composition[edit]

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.

Orchestration[edit]

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

References[edit]

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

External links[edit]