STRAVINSKY’S FIRST GREAT WORK: THE FIREBIRD, FIRST EDITION
STRAVINSKY, Igor. [Russian title in Cyrillic.] L'Oiseau de Feu. Conte Dansé en 2 Tableaux. Composé d'après le conte national russe par M. Fokine… Piano à 2 mains. Moscow: P. Jurgenson, . Large quarto, original printed wrappers, glassine. Housed in a custom chemise and slipcase. $6500.
First edition, piano score of Stravinsky’s first ballet.
The Firebird is the work which first earned Stravinsky a reputation beyond Russia's borders. The ballet draws on Russian folk-tales, bringing together the Romantic interest in the supernatural and in nationalist feeling. "Stravinsky worked on his music for a year, usually aided by Fokine, who had prepared the scenario. 'They worked very closely together, phrase by phrase,' wrote Lincoln Kirstein in his biography of Fokine… Stravinsky completed his score in May 1910, and on June 25 L'Oiseau de Feu (The Fire-Bird) was presented at the Paris Opéra with Fokine, Madame Fokina, and Karsavina as the principal dancers… On the opening night Debussy rushed backstage to embrace Stravinsky" (Cross, II: 779). The Firebird, in its Tchaikovskian and Rimskian lushness, stands in stark contrast to the spare, restrained works of Stravinsky's later, "neo-classical" period, and he was eventually to repudiate it. Yet he reworked it into an orchestral suite in several different versions, and continued to perform it throughout his career. The score for piano was published about the same time as the full score, "priority uncertain" (Fuld, 142); the plate numbers for the score for piano (39404-39419), however, precede the plate numbers for the full score (39420). De Lerma, O9. Small stamps of Parisian dealers on front wrapper and title page.
Interior fine, with only light spotting to title page, text block expertly reinforced; only light wear to fragile wrappers. Near-fine condition.