This day, the 6th of April, marks the 50th death anniversary of Igor Stravinsky, one of the most ingenious composers of the 20th century. To commemorate the genius Poznan Philharmonic dedicates the next Internet Concert (Friday, 9th of April at 7 pm) to his music. For the first time in Poznan the “Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments” will be [performed, featuring the pianist Michał Francuz and Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra led by Tadeusz Wojciechowski.
Igor Stravinsky began to write the “Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments” in the summer of 1923 and completed it on the 21st of April of the following year. The work waited only a month for its premiere – it was performed for the first time in the Paris Opera on the 22nd of May 1924. The composer himself played the piano part, while Serge Koussevitzky conducted the whole ensemble – he was the one who commissioned the piece for his famous Parisian Concerts Koussevitzky, which he led in the years of 1921-1928 and popularized the works by Sergei Prokofiev, Igor Stravinsky and Maurice Ravel.
By taking up writing the piece, Stravinsky secured the exclusivity for its performance for five years. In that period he performed the Concerto over 40 times! In 1950 the composer introduced a few changes and amendments to the work and in that version it has been performed the most frequently.
In our today’s commemoration of the unusual composer it is worth mentioning that his father, Fyodor Stravinsky, came from a Polish gentry from the Eastern Borderlands Stravinsky with the Sulima coat of arms. The composer’s great-great-grandfather, Stanislaus Stravinsky, went down in history during the Bar Confederation when on the 3rd of November 1771 he took part in the kidnapping of the King Stanisław August Poniatowski.
Rumour has it that Igor Stravinsky had taken steps to apply for the Polish citizenship, the reason being not the blood relation but the property of his first wife, located in Poland. According to one of the story versions the artist gave up due to the long queue before the Polish Consulate in Paris, according to the other one – he was discouraged by the behaviour of the official, who treated Stravinsky as one of those “nagging” Russian emigrants seeking asylum in Western Europe after the Revolution.
Michał FRANCUZ – piano
Tadeusz WOJCIECHOWSKI – conductor
Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra
- Igor Stravinsky, Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments
Largo – Allegro – Più mosso – Maestoso