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Stravinsky and His World

Stravinsky and His World

Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 392
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    Stravinsky and His World
    Book Description:

    Stravinsky and His World brings together an international roster of scholars to explore fresh perspectives on the life and music of Igor Stravinsky. Situating Stravinsky in new intellectual and musical contexts, the essays in this volume shed valuable light on one of the most important composers of the twentieth century.

    Contributors examine Stravinsky's interaction with Spanish and Latin American modernism, rethink the stylistic label "neoclassicism" with a section on the ideological conflict over his lesser-known opera buffa Mavra, and reassess his connections to his homeland, paying special attention to Stravinsky's visit to the Soviet Union in 1962. The essays also explore Stravinsky's musical and religious differences with Arthur Lourié, delve into Stravinsky's collaboration with Pyotr Suvchinsky and Roland-Manuel in the genesis of his groundbreaking Poetics of Music, and look at how the movement within stasis evident in the scores of Stravinsky's Orpheus and Oedipus Rex reflected the composer's fierce belief in fate. Rare documents--including Spanish and Mexican interviews, Russian letters, articles by Arthur Lourié, and rarely seen French and Russian texts--supplement the volume, bringing to life Stravinsky's rich intellectual milieu and intense personal relationships.

    The contributors are Tatiana Baranova, Leon Botstein, Jonathan Cross, Valérie Dufour, Gretchen Horlacher, Tamara Levitz, Klára Móricz, Leonora Saavedra, and Svetlana Savenko.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-4854-6
    Subjects: Music, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface and Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-xiii)
  4. A Note on Transliteration and Titles of Works
    (pp. xiv-xiv)
  5. Permissions and Credits
    (pp. xv-2)
  6. Stravinsky in Exile
    (pp. 3-20)

    The death in New York of Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky at 5:20 a.m. on 6 April 1971 was already making broadcast headlines by the top of the next hour. The news of the passing of this “towering figure in twentieth-century music” (The Guardian), “one of the great, original creative geniuses in the entire history of music” (Washington Post & Times Herald), was soon being wired around the world, with commentators lining up in America, Europe, the Soviet Union, and elsewhere to offer their views on the achievements of this most celebrated of composers.¹ It was not just journalists, friends, and artists who...

  7. Who Owns Mavra? A Transnational Dispute
    (pp. 21-60)

    Stravinsky first performed his one-act opera buffa Mavra in a version for voice and piano at a gala buffet organized by Diaghilev in the ballroom at the Hotel Continental in Paris on 29 March 1922.¹ Mavra premiered a little over two months later, on June third at the Paris Opéra as part of the Ballets Russes 1922 season, in which it appeared on an all-Stravinsky program between a repeat performance of Léonide Massine’s version of The Rite of Spring and Fokine’s of Petrushka.² The premiere was both a failure and a success, as the reviews gathered here show. The generally...

  8. Stravinsky’s Russian Library
    (pp. 61-78)

    Those who knew Stravinsky well remember him as a passionate, insatiable reader. Photographs depict him reading—on trains and planes, during concert intermissions, lounging in hotels, and in bed before going to sleep. Stravinsky customarily read books with his first wife, Yekaterina, and their children; later, he continued this tradition with his second wife, Vera. He discussed book purchases in his correspondence; Vera, too, mentioned Stravinsky’s books in her diary. Stravinsky bought books regularly and in large quantities, and had done so ever since his youth in St. Petersburg. In spite of the losses that may have occurred when he...

  9. The Futility of Exhortation: Pleading in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex and Orpheus
    (pp. 79-104)

    Stravinsky has rarely been kind to his characters in trouble. Finding themselves in situations beyond their control, they are compelled nonetheless to persevere, with little chance of changing their unhappy fates. Be it during his early Russian period, the thirty years he spent writing “neoclassical music,” or in his final serial compositions, the composer was frequently attracted to subject matter with a tragic outcome, and especially subjects whose outcomes are known in advance. That is, he chose topics whose sequence of events is driven less by the suspense of surprise than by the fulfillment of destiny. The most famous example...

  10. Symphonies and Funeral Games: Lourié’s Critique of Stravinsky’s Neoclassicism
    (pp. 105-126)

    In their 1989 monograph The Apollonian Clockwork, Louis Andriessen and Elmer Schönberger express bewilderment at Stravinsky’s high esteem for an obscure figure in music history, the Russian composer Arthur Vincent Lourié:

    Up till now, readers of biographies of Stravinsky have been faced with a fait accompli by the presence of Lourié, like a new character that enters out of nowhere half-way through a play. Now that Lourié has received a past—thanks to recent research on the eclipsed Russian musical avant-garde of 1910–30—the sudden entrance and sudden shining role of Lourié in Stravinsky’s life becomes, strangely enough, even...

  11. Arthur Lourié’s Eurasianist and Neo-Thomist Responses to the Crisis of Art
    (pp. 127-140)

    Arthur Lourié published his article “Krizis iskusstva” (The crisis of art) in two installments in the fourth and eighth issues of the weekly Eurasianist newspaper Yevraziya (Eurasia) in 1928–29. The first installment appeared with Lourié’s essay on Rachmaninoff, the second with his report on Otto Klemperer in Paris.¹ Lourié was not only an occasional contributor to the newspaper. From the tenth issue (26 January 1929) his name appeared on the masthead along with such prominent Eurasianists as Lev Karsavin, Dmitry Sviatopolk-Mirsky, and Pyotr Suvchinsky. “The Crisis of Art” is one in a series of essays Lourié published about Stravinsky...

  12. Igor the Angeleno: The Mexican Connection
    (pp. 141-176)

    Stravinsky arrived in New York City aboard the Manhattan on 30 September 1939 to begin a series of lectures as the Charles Eliot Norton Professor at Harvard. Within months of his arrival, Carlos Chávez sent a telegram inviting him to conduct the Orquesta Sinfónica de México. If Stravinsky could arrange to travel to Mexico City on his own dime, Chávez explained, adding that the train ride from New York took a mere 72 hours, the Orquesta would pay Stravinsky $1,250 for a two-week visit, 15–28 July 1940.¹ In the weeks that followed, and in their first face-to-face meeting in...

  13. Stravinsky Speaks to the Spanish-Speaking World
    (pp. 177-224)

    The selection of interviews and profiles of Igor Stravinsky that follows, published for Spanish- and Catalan-speaking readers across and along two continents, is, naturally, but a small window into Stravinsky’s relationship to Spain and Spanish-speaking America, and into the impact, both positive and negative, that his music and personality had on that vast part of the world.¹ Although Stravinsky must have understood some Spanish, he did not speak it; therefore, most of the interviews here were conducted in French and translated into Spanish or Catalan. Stravinsky gave virtually hundreds of interviews during his long career as a performing musician and...

  14. The Poétique musicale: A Counterpoint in Three Voices
    (pp. 225-254)

    Igor Stravinsky’s Poétique musicale originated in a commission the composer received to give a series of lectures as Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University in the academic year 1939–40 and was first published in its original French in 1942 by Harvard University Press. Stravinsky, Pyotr Suvchinsky, and Roland-Manuel collaborated in writing these lectures in Sancellemoz, France in May and June 1939; they remain today the keystone of the composer’s thought and major point of reference for his artistic ideology. As this article will show, however, research into the genesis of the Poétique reveals something beyond the...

  15. Stravinsky: The View from Russia
    (pp. 255-272)

    In recent years Stravinsky has experienced something of a renaissance in Russia. Performances abound, scholarship is flourishing, and recently Natalia Braginskaya and Valérie Dufour formed the “Stravinsky Between East and West” study group of the International Musicological Society to broaden the dialogue. Such moments of expansive intellectual growth offer excellent opportunities for reflecting on the composer’s lasting influence in his homeland, and on questions most pertinent to Russian scholars. How did Stravinsky shape compositional trends in Russia in the twentieth century? And in what way did he remain intellectually and musically rooted in Russian traditions? By briefly examining Stravinsky’s reception...

  16. Stravinsky’s Cold War: Letters About the Composer’s Return to Russia, 1960–1963
    (pp. 273-318)

    In fall 1962, Igor Stravinsky returned to Russia for the first time in forty-eight years. He had left in 1914, not knowing at the time, of course, how long the separation would last. When Lenin revoked citizenship for expatriates in 1921, Stravinsky had become stateless and could remain in Europe only with a Nansen passport, which he kept until he acquired French citizenship in 1934.¹ Many observers underplayed his refugee status, and operated under the false assumption that Stravinsky had “slipped” into becoming an émigré, rather than being forced into exile. But he was in fact stateless, and in a...

  17. “The Precision of Poetry and the Exactness of Pure Science”: Nabokov, Stravinsky, and the Reader as Listener
    (pp. 319-348)

    In his meticulously prepared compendium of interviews, Strong Opinions, Vladimir Nabokov reprinted a 1970 response to a question posed by Alfred Appel about whether he knew Igor Stravinsky, “another outspoken émigré.” Nabokov replied, “I know Mr. Stravinsky very slightly and have never seen any genuine sample of his outspokenness in print.”¹ Nabokov’s response to Appel, one of the first and most respected of Nabokov scholars, revealed an uncanny but not unexpected doubt about Stravinsky’s role in the authorship of the (by then) extensive accumulation of Stravinsky-Craft volumes of conversations. The questions about Robert Craft’s role and who was responsible for...

  18. Index
    (pp. 349-364)
  19. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. 365-367)
  20. Back Matter
    (pp. 368-368)