After Igor (2010)
Commission: The Philharmonic Orchestra
Duration: 9 minutes
Premiere: November 4 2010 | The Philharmonic Orchestra | Singapore
Reading: April 16 2010 | Peabody Symphony Orchestra | Baltimore MD
August 11-13 2019 | Orquesta Sinfónica de Aguascalientes | Aguascalientes, Mexico
Instrumentation: 4(3,4.picc)3(3.ca)4(1.eb,4.bcl)4(4.cbsn),43(1.picc Bb)3(3.btrb)1, 4perc(1.timp), pno, 2hrps, strings
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After Igor was commissioned by the Philharmonic Orchestra Society specially for ‘100 years later – The Firebird’, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the creation of Stravinsky’s well-loved ballet, The Firebird in 2010. As such, After Igor shares the same instrumentation as Stravinsky’s The Firebird, and was intended to be as a contemporary narrative introduction to The Firebird that can be a standalone piece or be continued attaca (at once) into Stravinsky’s The Firebird.
Due to the celebratory nature of the commission, the work opens with an explosive fanfare-like theme that frames the entire work. This fanfare eventually expands and introduces flourishes of descending woodwind gestures and distant resonant bell sounds that evoke the magical spirit of the land of the Kaschei, just like in Stravinsky’s The Firebird. Within this charming landscape, four solo wind instruments – piccolo, Eb clarinet, cor anglais and trumpets, dance a jaunty and gawky ballet interpretation that elicits a dancing ‘firebird’, before having the ‘firebird’ burst and erupt back into the opening fanfare-like theme again.