The Kennedy Center

Selections from The Firebird

About the Work

Igor Stravinsky Composer: Igor Stravinsky
© Peter Laki

Just as there is a long-standing tradition of orchestrating organ music (the most famous examples being Leopold Stokowski's Bach arrangements), there is an equally long line of transcriptions going the opposite way, producing arrangements of orchestral music for the king of the instruments. Already in the 19th century, Mendelssohn's Scottish Symphony was published in an organ version and the trend has never stopped since then. Over the years, organists have taken possession of an ever-growing body of symphonic repertoire-to the benefit and delight of performers and audiences alike.

There have been several organ transcriptions of Stravinsky's Firebird-especially of the lyrical Berceuse and the grandiose Finale. At the present recital, Mr. Escaich will preface those two glorious excerpts by his version of "The Infernal Dance of King Kastchei." The world of Russian folk tales meets the modern concert organ, which will prove fully equal to the large symphony orchestra in both its range of colors and its sheer power.