Donald Macleod explores the influence of Stravinsky's teacher Rimsky-Korsakov, and presents an acclaimed - and extraordinary - arrangement of Petrushka for accordion duo.
Igor Stravinsky was one of the most brilliant, daring and influential musical thinkers of the early 20th century - a composer who forged new musical horizons and scandalised high society. But it wasn't always that way... Stravinsky was, in fact, a relatively late starter - no musical prodigy here - and his earliest musical works show no hint of the coruscating modernism that was to make him the most famous composer in the world. Instead, we find charming, witty and delightful music in the great Russian tradition of Rimsky-Korsakov, Glazunov and Mussorgsky - compositions often sadly overlooked in the great swirl of publicity that surrounded his trio of great ballets, The Firebird, Petrushka and The Rite Of Spring. This week, Donald Macleod explores the world of "Young Igor", presenting a rare hearing of Stravinsky's fine early compositions and a selection of rarities as we follow the composer's development up to the end of the First World War. He also presents two rare and unusual versions of Stravinsky's iconic ballets: the Firebird in its original 1910 ballet suite, and an extraordinary - and acclaimed - new arrangement of Petrushka by the Mythos accordion duo.
Before Stravinsky became the doyen of musical modernism in the early 20th century, he was steeped in the Russian nationalist tradition of Rimsky-Korsakov, Glazunov and Mussorgsky. Donald Macleod begins today's programme with two works tinged with the tolling church bells and orchestral flourishes of Stravinsky's forebears, before moving on to a complete performance of an acclaimed - and remarkable - arrangement of one of Stravinsky's best-loved scores: a brand-new version, by the Mythos accordion duo, of the ballet Petrushka.