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Performance and Pedagogy Blog

A blog about the performance and pedagogy of music.

Monday YouTube Fix: Stravinsky Conducting Firebird

Andrew Hitz

The title really says it all. It's pretty incredible that we have the ability to watch a performance like this so easily.  In this clip, Stravinsky is conducting the New Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall in London. The Firebird Suite has been one of my favorite pieces of classical music since I was in high school.  The recording of David Fedderley playing with the Baltimore Symphony & David Zinman was one that I played almost on a loop as a kid.  The tone that Mr. Fedderley plays with on the last line of that recording just smothers you.  That album played a huge role in the development of my concept of sound and I still cherish it to this day.

What an invaluable resource it is for us to be able to see Stravinsky himself conducting one of his own masterworks.  I love his conducting style.  It's no nonsense and to the point. I'm especially a fan of his left hand on his hip from time to time. Priceless!