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Decoding the music masterpieces: Stravinsky's The Firebird

By Scott Davie, Lecturer in Piano, School of Music, Australian National University
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On June 25 1910, Igor Stravinsky’s ballet The Firebird opened to acclaim at the Paris Opéra. The success propelled its composer, then aged 28, to international prominence, a position of influence he would retain for six decades.

The ballet’s myth-like storyline features a magical Firebird, who helps a young prince rescue a coterie of princesses from Kashchey, an evil sorcerer.

Based on the eponymous bird of Russian folklore, it has ultimately propagated some myths of its own - relating to the artistic ideals of the team who created it, and the narrative’s historical accuracy.

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