Stravinsky, Igor : The Flood (1961-62)  24'

A musical play for solo voices, chorus, speakers and orchestra

Music Text

Text: Book of Genesis, York and Chester Miracle plays (L-E,L-F,L-G)

T,2B,7speakers; SAT chorus 3(III=picc).afl.2.corA.2.bcl.dbcl.2.dbn-4.3.2.btrbn.1-timp.perc: xylorimba/3tom-t/cyms/BD-harp-cel(=pft)-strings
Abbreviations (PDF)

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World Premiere
CBS Television Network broadcast
George Balanchine, choreographer / CBS Television Network / Robert Craft

Repertoire Note


Commissioned by CBS television, The Flood conflates the Creation with the story of Noah's ark. Stravinsky: "Why did I call my work The Flood, instead of Noah? Because Noah is mere history. As a genuine antediluvian he is a great curiosity, but a sideshow curiosity. And even as 'eternal man,' the second Adam, the – to Augustinians – Old Testament Christ image, he is less important than the Eternal Catastrophe. The Flood is also The Bomb." God, impressively strange, is sung by two basses, Lucifer by a tenor; there is also a Caller (for the animal parade) and a Narrator. Stravinsky called the "musical speed" of The Flood "cinematographic;" writing for television, he eagerly dispensed with "the afflatus of overtures, connecting episodes, curtain music."

Reproduction Rights
This programme note can be reproduced free of charge in concert programmes with a credit to Boosey & Hawkes/Joseph Horowitz.

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