Igor Stravinsky is the most famous, the most celebrated, the most recorded, perhaps the most influential composer of the 20th Century. Yet his reputation among the broader concert-going public is based almost exclusively on three early works, none originally intended for concert performance. They are the three ballet scores: "The Firebird" (1910), "Petrushka" (1911) and "Le Sacre du Printemps" (1913).
Whether the composer ever again wrote music as original, as accessible or, in the case of "Sacre," as irresistibly controversial, is a moot point. Orchestras keep programming, audiences keep demanding and the record companies keep recording the big three not only because they sell, but because they are considered fit vehicles to enhance the reputations of young conductors.