This release offers two short ballets by Stravinsky, The Firebird from 1909-10 and Pulcinella written a decade later, the former based on three Russian fairytales. This 1982 production by the Royal Danish Ballet was choreographed by Glen Tetley, for whom "The Firebird is a symbol of our innermost dreams and longing for freedom and true love".
Pulcinella comes from Stravinsky's neo-classical period and is inspired by the Italian commedia dell'arte of the 17th and 18th centuries. The story, an almost slapstick series of romantic confusions and complications amid the streets of Naples, is brought to life in this 1988 Scapino Ballet production with an enchanting mixture of dance and mime. The design is boldly colourful and Nils Christe's choreography filled with character and playful good humour. The music comes from an enthusiastic London Symphony Orchestra under Claudio Abbado, with vocal soloists of the calibre of John Shirley-Quirk. The two works make an attractive programme.
Johan Meijer, Erika Trabi, Robin Woolmer, Marion Vijn, Jennifer Haynes, Andreas Justrich, Jose Luis Vieira, Rinus Sprong, Paula Vink, Anastassios Vitoros, Katrin Andersson, Wout Fransen, Mette Honningen, Torben Jeppesen, Lars Damsgaard
- Igor Stravinsky Ballet: Firebird / Pulcinella review by DW
Pulchinella is simply a wonderful recreation of the original Ballet Russe choreography, every bit as lively and creative as one could possibly wish for. Full of wit and invention, the playing with the LSO under Abbado quite glorious. By contrast, Glen Tetley's Firebird does not follow the original story and is, to my mind, utterly lack lustre. 5 stars for Pulchinella, 3 for Firebird.