An Igor Stravinsky piece written just before "The Firebird" has been rediscovered and performed in Russia after more than a century of absence from the classical music world.Stravinsky said he became separated from the score of "Funeral Song Op.5" in the chaos when he left Russia after the Revolution.He was sure,however,that the orchestral parts were preserved in one of the St.Petersburg orchestral libraries.He wanted someone to look for them,as he would be curious himself to see what he was composing at that time.They were indeed finally rediscovered in spring 2015 during a stock relocation by the St.Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory library.
Stravinsky,who was Russian Orthodox,said he thought it was the best of his works before "The Firebird."In the event,"Funeral Song,"written as an elegy following the death of Stravinsky's composition teacher and mentor Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,was performed only once in 1909 before it disappeared seemingly into oblivion until alert conservatory staff noticed it at the bottom of essentially a pile of junky scores.The 12 minute-long piece,characterised by the same fermenting chromatisation of the bass as "The Firebird," was performed on 2 December 2016 by the Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev.It will also be performed by major orchestras worldwide over the next 15 months,including the Philharmonia Orchestra under Esa-Pekka Salonen at the Royal Festival Hall in London on 19 February 2017.
The Taylor Star's reaction upon listening to this music:Magnificent.It fits right in with "The Firebird."We so miss this level of brilliance in classical music composition today.