Revenge of the mechanical musical instruments

A version of Stravinsky’s Petrushka for street organ.

Last week I was talking to a puppeteer about doing music theatre, and I thought I’d make a short example of using the street organ to accompany stage action.

As you probably know, Stravinsky’s marvellous ballet Petrushka brings not only a puppet to life: the  Shrovetide fair scene at the beginning uses real musicians to recreate accordions, a barrel organ and a music box.

I thought I’d sweep away the nostalgia and mechanise everything (apart from the video, of course, which is Bolshoi), using the long-lost score which was localised by Stravinsky for the first London performance using English folksongs ;):

More photos of street organists (and of hurdy-gurdy men: they’re distinct) over at Poemas del río Wang.

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