Conservatory, Great Hall, Saint Petersburg
Count Sheremetev's orchestra / Felix Blumenfeld
"...it’s true: this darkly beautiful 12-minute orchestral piece is by Stravinsky. After its premiere in 1909, the score went missing but in 2015 orchestral parts were found in a (thorough) spring clean of the St Petersburg State Conservatory’s library."
"A Stravinsky premiere must surely count as a red-letter musical day... a processional slow movement in which a constant, though always slightly varied, melody is presented by different instruments, as if filing past Rimsky-Korsakov’s tomb each laying a wreath... bound to become a classic. Every Stravinsky work is a classic!"
"Shivering low string tremolandos, suggestive of Russian Orthodox church music, pre-empt the opening of Firebird, and there are echoes of Wagner in the brass chords that bring the processional to its eventual close. It’s a work of great nobility."
"...the importance of Funeral Song lies in what it reveals of the artistic development of one of the last century’s great musical geniuses, and its portents of greater Stravinsky works to come (his revolutionary Rite of Spring lay only five years in the future)".