Saturday Afternoon Music Video: Petruschka/Piano

Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring is getting a lot of attention this year because this is the 100th anniversary of the first performance (well, last fall was). But my favorite Stravinsky piece has always been Petruschka.

This is the piano version, three movements that are not transcriptions of the original ballet but new pieces based on the ballet, played by Juja Wang. The piece is very athletic (perhaps appropriate for a composition about a naughty puppet!) and the camera angles give you a great look at her technique.

Stravinsky wrote the piano version for Arthur Rubenstein in 1921, ten years after he composed the symphonic version. He wanted to write something that would be very difficult so that Rubenstein would like it. Stravinsky himself found it more than a little difficult to play.

The three movements are: "Danse Russe;" "Chez Petruschka;" and "La semaine grasse."