The news of the rediscovery and reconstruction of Stravinsky’s long-lost piece The Funeral Song sent shockwaves through international musical circles. The composition re-emerged after being lost for more than a century, and international orchestras immediately started making plans to include it in their concert seasons as soon as possible. The Belgrade Philharmonic is among the few chosen orchestras with the exclusive right to perform the piece. On a par with the Berlin Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra from London, the Belgrade Philharmonic is the only ensemble from Southeast Europe to receive exclusive rights to perform this composition in 2017. The Funeral Song will open the concert on 8 December 2017, under the baton of Hans Graf.
The Funeral Song is a piece from Igor Stravinsky’s early period, composed in memory of Prof. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. It was premiered in 1909, and then it was thought to have been lost during the Russian Revolution. The composer had long suspected that it must have been preserved somewhere in St. Petersburg musical archives. This turned out to be true, but not until 2015, when The Funeral Song was rediscovered by musicologist Natalia Braginskaya. The piece was reconstructed, and the first orchestra to play it was the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra under Valeri Gergiev in St. Petersburg, in December 2016.