A previously lost orchestral work by Igor Stravinsky will receive its first performance in 107 years in St Petersburg on 2 December.
The 12-minute work for symphony orchestra was written when Stravinsky was just 26, in memory of his teacher Rimsky-Korsakov. After Stravinsky fled Russia during the revolution, the work was lost. He remained curious about what had happened to the piece even in his later years: ‘I wish someone in Leningrad would look for the parts,’ he wrote in this Memories and Commentaries, ‘for I would be curious myself to see what I was composing just before The Firebird.’
The piece was rediscovered in 2015 by musicologist Dr. Natalia Braginskaya, and St Petersburg Conservatory’s librarian Irina Sidorenko. While library stock was being relocated last spring a complete set of orchestral works was found in a back room archive, to which access had been blocked for years by a huge number of scores piled in front of the entrance. The full score has been reconstructed from the parts and is being prepared for publication by Boosey & Hawkes, Stravinsky’s principal publisher.
Valery Gergiev will conduct the Mariinsky Orchestra in a performance of Funeral Song at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg on 2 December. It will be performed alongside a work by Rimsky-Korsakov – to whom the song was dedicated – and Stravinsky’s Firebird, the work which he composed after Funeral Song, and which propelled him to international fame.