Sunday, 20.4.2025
4.00 pm

The Firebird


Bernhard Russi, narrator
Tanzschule Dance Fusion Altdorf
Swiss Orchestra
Lena-Lisa Wüstendörfer, conductor

Bernhard Russi is returning to the stage of the Andermatt Concert Hall to tell the tale of the Firebird as captured in music by Igor Stravinsky. The music will be provided by the Swiss Orchestra under the baton of Lena-Lisa Wüstendörfer. Recommended for children of 5 years and up (in German language).

Prices: CHF 45 (Erwachsene) / 20 (Kinder)


Igor Stravinsky: The Firebird (arr. Paul Leonard Schäffer)

About the programme

Every child in Glarus or Uri will know the legend of the two roosters who were largely responsible for the current border between these two cantons. In a dispute over fertile land, the inhabitants of the two cantons struck a deal. They’d both send out an expert runner, the Uri representative from Altdorf, the Glarus man from Linthal, but each would only be allowed to set off when the rooster crowed in their respective town. The cantonal border would then be fixed at the point where the two runners met. Understandably, both parties were keen for their own rooster to crow as early as possible, but they chose two different strategies. The people of Glarus spoilt their rooster, giving it lots to eat, and hoping that it would gain so much strength that it would wake everyone early in the morning. But they all woke up long before their rooster, and gathered around it sadly while it slept on peacefully. The people of Uri, on the other hand, chose the better tactic, albeit with less concern for animal welfare. They starved their rooster, and as a result he got up early to crow, meaning that the Uri runner was already well on his way down the mountain before his counterpart in Glarus had even set off. That’s why (so it’s claimed) the biggest alpine pasture in Switzerland, the Urnerboden, has belonged to Canton Uri since 1315, despite being located in the middle of the Glarus Alps.

The family concert by the Swiss Orchestra is about a different kind of feathered fowl, though similarly legendary: the Firebird, whose story will be narrated by Bernhard Russi to the accompaniment of highly colourful ballet music by Igor Stravinsky. Together with his librettists, Stravinsky wove three old Russian fairy tales together to make this new legend. The young Prince Ivan is hunting the shimmering Firebird when he happens upon the garden of the immortal sorcerer Kashchey. Ivan catches the Firebird but lets it go at its own request – and in return Ivan receives one of its golden feathers as a gift to help him if he’s ever in danger. Thirteen princesses appear in the garden, and Ivan immediately falls in love with one of them, Tsarevna. In order to see her again, he enters Kashchey’s palace but is captured by him and is in danger of being turned into stone. With the aid of the Firebird, Ivan succeeds in revealing the secret of Kashchey’s immortality and vanquishes the sorcerer’s sinister power. Unlike the Swiss roosters who helped to draw cantonal boundaries, the Firebird overcomes all barriers by helping Ivan and Tsarevna to find each other and to live happily ever after.


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