B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
- Bass Drum
- Crash Cymbals
None discovered thus far.
In 1910, Sergei Diaghilev, a Russian art critic, patron, ballet impresario and founder of the Ballets Russes, envisioned a lavishly mounted dance production entitled The Firebird, with its plot adapted from Russian fairy tales. The famous Russian composer Anatoly Lyadov was commissioned to write the music. When Lyadov did not produce quickly enough, Diaghilev passed the commission along to the relatively unknown Igor Stravinsky. It was the beginning of a fertile relationship, including Petrushka (1911), The Rite of Spring (1913), Pulcinella (1920), and Les Noces (1923).
The story of the Firebird is the tale of Prince Ivan in the realm of the immortal King Katschai, a realm he enters quite unwittingly while lost in the forest. As he happens upon an enchanted garden, he spies and captures a luminous creature, the Firebird, half-bird, half-woman. He is startled by her brilliance and beauty, and releases her, in exchange for which he is given a magical feather. Next, the prince spies thirteen princesses and falls in love with Elena, the most beautiful. The prince follows the maidens to the palace after celebrating into the night, where guards capture him. With his magic feather, he summons the Firebird, and the king, along with the palace creatures, puts on an “infernal dance” unto exhaustion under the Firebird’s spell. The Firebird relates the secret of Katschai’s immortality to Prince Ivan (his soul is shielded in a magic egg), and Ivan is able to free the princesses from their enchantment.
The “Finale” celebrates the union of Ivan and Elena and, of course, the death of the antagonists. It might well celebrate the entrance on the scene of Stravinsky, for whom The Firebird remains his most frequently performed work.
- Program note by San Luis Obispo Wind Orchestra
The Firebird marked the beginning of the now legendary collaboration between Igor Stravinsky and Serge Diaghilev, the impressario of the famous Ballet Russe. Stravinsky was a totally unknown pianist and composer in 1910, but The Firebird, followed by Petroushka and The Rite of Spring, catapulted him to the forefront of contemporary composers, a position never relinquished.
Robert Longfield has arranged two sections of the score for band, the Berceuse (Lullaby) and the Finale, which is itself based on an old Russian folk tune first "discovered" by Rimsky-Korsakov.
The story concerns the Firebird, a beautiful ballerina with orange wings, and Ivan, a young prince who hunts for the Firebird, finally capturing her. She gives him a golden feather as ransom and disappears. Later, Ivan is captured by the demon Kastchei, but he waves the golden feather and the beautiful Firebird comes to his rescue. He is taken to a metal box containing an egg, which is the soul of Kastchei the Terrible. He smashes the egg, and the princess and nobles are forever freed of the spell of Kastchei and his followers.
- Program Note from Program Notes for Band
- Georgia: IV
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- Maryland Band Directors Band (Rockville) (Daniel Ord, conductor) - 5 October 2023
- Karl L. King Municipal Band (Fort Dodge, Iowa) (Jerrold P. Jimmerson, conductor) - 10 July 2022
- New Horizons Band (Iowa City, Iowa) (Nolan Hauta, conductor) - 29 July 2018
- Cypress Symphonic Band (Houston, Tex.) (Clarence Weeks, conductor) –25 March 2017
- Atascadero (Calif.) Community Band (Randy Schwalbe, conductor) – 1 November 2015
- University of California, Santa Barbara, Wind Ensemble (Paul Bambach, conductor) - 29 May 2015
- Gold Coast Wind Ensemble (Thousand Oaks, Calif) (Clinton H. Dawley, conductor) - 23 November 2014
- Rio Rancho (N.M.) Symphonic Band (John Emory, conductor) - 19 October 2014
- Senzoku Gakuen College (Kanagawa, Japan) Wind Orchestra (Frederick Fennell, conductor) – 24 December 2000 (2000 Midwest Clinic)
Works for Winds by This Composer
- Berceuse and Finale from "The Firebird" (arr. Longfield) (1910/1998)
- Berceuse and Finale from "The Firebird" (arr. Goldman) (1910/1941)
- Berceuse and Finale from "The Firebird" (arr. McAlister and Reed) (1910/1989)
- Circus Polka (orch. Raksin) (1942/1948)
- Concertino for 12 Instruments (1920/1952)
- Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments (1950)
- Ebony Concerto (1946)
- Elegy for JFK (1964)
- Excerpts from "The Rite of Spring" (arr. Buckley) (1913/2015)
- Fanfare for a New Theater (1968)
- Finale from "The Firebird" (arr. Story) (1910/2014)
- The Firebird: Finale (arr. Hanna) (1910/2023)
- The Firebird (trans. Patterson) (1910)
- Firebird Excerpts (arr. Bocook) (1910/1995)
- The Firebird Suite (tr. Earles, ed. Fennell) (1910/1998)
- Fireworks, Op 4 (trans. Rogers) (1908)
- Funeral Song (1908)
- L'Histoire du Soldat (1918)
- Mass for Mixed Chorus and Double Wind Quintet (1948)
- Octuor (1923)
- Pastorale (1907/1933)
- The Rite of Spring (tr. Patterson) (1913/1947)
- The Rite of Spring (arr. Sánchez) (1913)
- The Rite of Spring (arr. Vosbein) (1913/2011)
- Scherzo à la russe (arr. Marciniak) (1944/1977)
- Song of the Volga Boatmen (ed. Simpson) (1917/1989)
- Suite from "The Firebird" (trans. Nefs) (1910/2013)
- Suite from "The Firebird" (trans. Knox) (1910)
- Suite No 2 for Wind Ensemble or Small Concert Band (tr. McAlister and Binney) (1921/1988)
- Symphonies of Wind Instruments (1920, rev. 1947)
- Symphony of Psalms (1930/1948)
- The Firebird. Wikipedia. Accessed 7 August 2023
- Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 571.
- Stravinsky, I.; Longfield, R. (1998). Firebird Suite: Berceuse and Finale [score]. C.L. Barnhouse: Oskaloosa, Iowa.