story of the Firebird Suite is based on a Russian folk tale and is divided
into five movements.
Please select a movement below to explore the story (Notes by Kenneth H. Meltzer)
I. INTRODUCTION: THE FIREBIRD AND HER DANCE; VARIATION OF THE FIREBIRD
II. THE PRINCESSES' ROUND: KHOROVODE
III. INFERNAL DANCE OF KING KATSCHEÏ
INTRODUCTION: THE FIREBIRD AND HER DANCE; VARIATION OF THE FIREBIRD
The Suite opens with a mysterious Introduction. While wandering in the forest at night, the Prince Ivan encounters a magic Firebird, whose appearance is portrayed by quicksilver orchestral figures and gossamer instrumentation. The Prince is captivated by the Firebird's beauty and captures her. However, the Prince takes pity on the Firebird and sets her free. In gratitude, the Firebird gives the Prince one of her feathers and promises to aid him in his hour of need.