A few weeks ago, I attended the Dickinson College orchestra performance to hear their rendition of Stravinsky’s Firebird. Not having the most discerning ear for classical music (or rather, having no discerning ear for classical music) I expected the pieces in the line up to bleed together. And, as I expected, the first few did (Sorry to Qualls and Caitlin, and any other sophisticated music-phile or performer out there). However, firebird stuck out to me because it conveyed a different tone and seemed to have a different purpose. Whereas the other selections in the line up were melodic, Firebird was, at times, eerie and almost unpleasant to listen to. The beginning tremor from the violins set the tone for a hauntingly beautiful build to a booming and seemingly euphoric ending. The variety in instruments, moods, and tempos throughout the piece made it intriguing to follow, especially as I tried to determine a pattern or motive for the different movements. The firebird was written in 1910, and it seemed to me to be a hopeful prediction for the future of Russia. In the waning days of the Tsar’s autocracy, the Russian people gained hope that their nation would be lifted from the hardships of peasantry and into a strengthened and revitalized nation.