Khachaturian Masquerade Suite
Bartók Violin Concerto No. 1
Stravinsky Suite from The Firebird
The Firebird Ballet catapulted the 28-year-old Stravinsky into international fame in 1910. Stravinsky blended Russian folk traditions and brilliant orchestral colors with his unique style of rhythmic irregularity. The first half of the concert features Bartók’s first violin concerto, written two years before The Firebird. The work wasn’t performed until after his death. It was inspired by an infatuation he had for a younger woman. Bartók wrote that the first movement was “idealized Stefi Geyer, celestial and inward,” the second a character that was “cheerful, witty, amusing.” The concert begins with Khachaturian’s incidental music for a play that is best known for its waltz theme.