Friday, October 18, 2013

The FIREBIRD (1909-10)

Music - Igor Stravinsky

Choreography - Michael Fokine

Conductor - Valery Giergiev

8 comments:

  1. Oh! That we could find the egg that holds Barack's soul!

    xo

    Andie

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  2. On of my favorites.

    Years ago I saw a great animated film of The Firebird by an Italian. Wish I could remember who it was so I could include a link.

    Ducky's a film expert. Maybe he knows?

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  3. The only animated Firebird I'm aware of is Disney's for the remake of Fantasia

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  4. Nope. This was a feature length animated film by an Italian animator, and it included The Firebird.

    This is going to drive me crazy until I find out who produced it.

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  5. Found it!

    "Bruno Bozzetto (born 3 March 1938 in Milan, Italy) is an Italian cartoon animator, creator of many short pieces, mainly of a political or satirical nature. He created his first animated short "Tapum! the weapons' story" in 1958 at the age of 20. His most famous character, a hapless little man named "Signor Rossi" (Mr. Rossi), has been featured in many animated shorts as well as starring in three feature films: "Mr. Rossi Looks for Happiness" (1976), "Mr. Rossi's Dreams" (1977), and "Mr. Rossi's Vacation" (1977).

    In 1965, Bozzetto produced his first feature-length animated film: West and soda, a parody of American Western films. In 1968, Bozzetto released VIP my Brother Superman, a superhero spin-off. However, his best-known work is probably the 1976 feature film Allegro Non Troppo, a collection of short pieces set to classical music in the manner of Disney's Fantasia, but more humorous in nature, economical in execution and with more sophisticated narrative themes. Bruno Bozzeto.

    Now all I have to do is see if any of his pieces, especially the one he did of The Firebird, are on YouTube or Hulu or anywhere else on the internet.

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  6. Thank you both for appreciation and added information.

    The Fantasia, I knew from early childhood had Leopold Stokowsky conducting The Rite of Spring -- not the Firebird -- as an accompaniment to to a remarkably dramatic fantasy portrayal of the life of dinosaurs and the events that led to their extinction. I still think that segment of the multi-part dramatization of various large chunks of the symphonic repertory is absolutely brilliant -- probably the best thing Walt Disney ever produced.

    As usual, I spent more time than you probably imagine sorting through various versions of The Firebird (the Russian interpretation of the Phoenix legend, of course), and settled on Gergiev's with the glories of complete ballet accompanied by music that does very well, even when it stands alone simply as an aural treat.

    Gergiev has achieved worldwide acclaim as one of the most distinguished interpreters of Stravinsky's work alive today. The energy, enthusiasm and passion with which he infuses his conducting are palpable and infectious -- a very exciting performer.

    I hope some of our visitors put down their knitting and took the necessary fifty minutes to let themselves be mesmerized by the magic of Stravinsky's music -- so radical for its time (pre-WWI), that riots broke out in the theater at the premiere of Le sacre du printemps.

    Would that audiences today were so involved as to experience such fervor!

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  7. Please tell us more about the "remake" of Fantasia, Ducky. I hadn't heard of its existence. Wouldn't "Second Edition" or "Fantasia Part Two" be better terms for such a venture?

    "Remake" sounds as though the material had grown stale. I don't approve of "remakes."

    I only know of two that worked well. The Bogart, Astor, Greenstreet, Lorre "remake" of The Maltese Falcon, which is certainly the definitive version, and should never suffer the indignities of an "update" again. The second would be Love Affair. The original with Charles Boyer and Irene Dunne is still charming, but the "remake" with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr is equally successful, and is, indeed, more up to date.

    I'm sure you can think of many more examples, Ducky. Feel free to share -- and by the way what do you think of remakes in general?

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