Firebird, The (tr Patterson)

From Wind Repertory Project
Igor Stravinsky

Igor Stravinsky (trans. Merlin Patterson)

General Info

Year: 1910 / 1941 /
Duration: c. 20:25
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: Merlin Patterson
Cost: Score and Parts - $550.00

Movements (played without pause)

1. Introduction - c. 3:00
2. Appearance of the Firebird - c. 0:15
3. Dance (Variation) of the Firebird - c. 1:10
4. Capture of the Firebird by Ivan Tsarevitch - c. 0:20
5. Supplications of the Firebird - c. 4:15
6. Sudden Appearance of Ivan Tsarevitch - c. 1:30
7. Princesses' Round - c. 4:40
8. Infernal Dance of King Katschei - c. 4:40
9. Lullaby, "Berceuse" - c. 4:00
10. Finale - c. 3:10


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

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 William V. Johnson for the San Luis Obispo Wind Orchestra

Commercial Discography


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Illinois (Champaign) Wind Symphony (Stephen G. Peterson, conductor) – 5 May 2018
  • Sacramento (Calif.) Symphonic Winds (Les Lehr, conductor) - 28 October 2012

Works for Winds by This Composer