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Igor Stravinsky

 1882 - 1971Igor Stravinsky Photo © Gene Fenn

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Igor Stravinsky is widely regarded as the most original and influential composer of the 20th century * Studied with Rimsky Korsakov in St Petersburg 1905-08 * Early works heard by Diaghilev who commissioned The Firebird for Ballets russes * Further collaborations Petrushka and The Rite of Spring saw composer move from nationalism towards vibrant modernism * Wartime period brought radical experimental phase * Economic conditions prompted smaller-scale theatrical ventures such as The Soldier's Tale with Ramuz * Pulcinella launched neo-classical phase which dominated 1920s-40s * Major works from this period included Oedipus Rex, Symphony of Psalms, and The Rake's Progress * At outbreak of Second World War moved to USA, settling in California * Ballet Agon was watershed for late serial works, including Requiem Canticles * Hallmarks of his style, in whatever period, are Russian folk inflections, rhythmic energy and orchestral virtuosity * Ballet scores are among the most significant of the past century * Complete recorded legacy on Sony Classical

Works by Igor Stravinsky include:
Petrushka (1911, rev.1947) Ballet for orchestra
The Rite of Spring (1913, rev.1947) Ballet for orchestra
The Rake's Progress (1948-51) Opera in three acts
Agon (1953-57) Ballet for orchestra


'Music is given to us specifically to make order of things, to move from an anarchic, individualistic state to a regulated, perfectly conscious one, which alone ensures vitality and durability.' — Igor Stravinsky

 

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