Scherzo à la russe is a 1944 composition by Russian composer "Igor Stravinsky. It was initially published by "Chappell & Co. in 1945 and premiered in March 1946 by the "San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, conducted by the composer himself. It was later published by "Boosey & Hawkes.
Stravinsky had been going through economical problems since he moved to America, partially because he lost the royalties from his works in Europe and had to compose more works to exploit them in America. The Scherzo à la russe was first conceived as a work for film use, as it was intended to be featured in "The North Star. When the film project was aborted, Stravinsky decided to re-orchestrate it for "Paul Whiteman Band. The only two conditions were: the piece had to be "easy-listening and it had to fit on a "78 rpm disc. This version for "jazz orchestra was premiered in 1944 by "Blue Network but, according to Stravinsky scholar Eric Walter White, it didn't seem to be a success. Stravinsky decided to arrange it again in 1945 for "symphony orchestra for it to be published and premiered in 1946 at "San Francisco.
The symphony jazz orchestra proposed by Paul Whiteman was very atypical for jazz music: 6 saxophones, strings, winds, brass and percussion.
The second version was just an expanded version of the first. Here is a full list of the instruments featured in it:
Apart from the symphony version completed in 1945, Stravinsky also wrote a third version for two pianos in 1954; however, it is not so commonly performed.
Notable recordings of this composition include:
|Orchestra||Conductor||Record Company||Year of Recording||Format||Version|
|"RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra||"Igor Stravinsky||Andante Records||1947||CD||Jazz Orchestra|
|"Columbia Symphony Orchestra||"Igor Stravinsky||"CBS Records||1961||CD||Symphony Orchestra|
|"London Symphony Orchestra||"Antal Doráti||"Deutsche Grammophon||1964||CD||Symphony Orchestra|
|"Orchestre de la Suisse Romande||"Ernest Ansermet||"Decca Records||1964||CD||Symphony Orchestra|
|"City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra||"Simon Rattle||"EMI||1987||CD||Symphony orchestra|
|"Philharmonia Orchestra||"Eliahu Inbal||"Teldec||1989||CD||Symphony orchestra|
|"Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra||"Dmitri Kitayenko||"Chandos Records||1994||CD||Jazz orchestra|
|"Orpheus Chamber Orchestra||—||"Deutsche Grammophon||1996||CD||Jazz orchestra|
|"Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra||"Neeme Järvi||"Telarc||2003||CD||Symphony orchestra|
|"Budapest Festival Orchestra||"Ivan Fischer||"Channel Classics Records||2010||CD||Symphony orchestra|