#SundaySoundtrack: Stravinsky

Igor Stravinsky, who died 50 years ago this week, was one of the 20th century's most important composers, particularly in the ballet world. During the 60 years he was active as a composer, he wrote in all genres, but his scores for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, and George Balanchine and New York City Ballet, remain amongst some of the greatest ballet scores ever written. From his 1907 Symphony in E-flat major Op.1, which bears the hallmarks of his teacher Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, to his final few 12-tone or Serialist works, his influences included Baroque music, Romanticism, jazz, ragtime and tango, and Russian folklore. Perhaps his most famous work is the scandalous The Rite of Spring, which caused a riot at its premiere in Paris in 1913 (much to Diaghilev's delight!). The influence of The Rite, characterised by its vigorous rhythmic drive, can be heard in Stravinsky's music throughout the following decades. In this playlist we have tried to give you a flavour of all Stravinsky's different compositional 'periods' and have included both world-famous works and others that are rarely heard. We open with one of his most famous ballets, Petrushka, and close with the epic finale from The Firebird.