from Missa pro Defunctis (L)
This is the music performed at Stravinsky's funeral in Venice; according to his widow: "He and we knew he was writing it for himself." Stravinsky: "Most listeners seemed to find it the easiest to take home of my last-period – or last-ditch-period – music, and though I know of no universal decision as to whether it is to be thought of as compressed or merely brief, I think the opus may be safely called the first mini- or pocket-Requiem." Robert Craft described the closing Postlude as "the chord of Death, followed by silence, the tolling of bells, and again silence, all thrice repeated, then the three final chords of Death alone."
This programme note can be reproduced free of charge in concert programmes with a credit to Boosey & Hawkes/Joseph Horowitz.