Exploring the often surprising links between concepts, themes and people in classical music, from medieval to modern
Saturday, 4 p.m. – 5 p.m.Rebroadcast Sunday, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.on Music Station
Detail from a 19th century Russian lacquer box
Long before Igor Stravinsky’s celebrated ballet of 1910, the Firebird legend had for years haunted Russian art and music as a figure of irrepressible and unattainable beauty.
In fact, Stravinsky’s teacher, the composer Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, wrote of a failed attempt in the 1860s by his own teacher, Mily Balakirev, to produce a musical treatment of the Firebird legend—a work now lost.
Well, not quite….
In this hour, how Balakirev used his unfinished Firebird as the basis for a new work that would chart a different direction for Russian music—one that would inspire Rimsky-Korsakov and others, and a half century later, launch Stravinsky’s amazing career.
January 7, 2023
February 4, 2023
January 14, 2023