- Hardcover: 688 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster (February 1, 1979)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780671243821
- ISBN-13: 978-0671243821
- ASIN: 0671243829
- Package Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.7 x 1.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,320,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Stravinsky Hardcover – February 1, 1979
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This initial selection from the extraordinary lifetime of letters to and from Igor Stravinsky, annotated by his friend and associate Robert Craft, includes correspondence with W. H. Auden, Jean Cocteau, Lincoln Kirstein and other friends, as well as Stravinsky's letters to Nadia Boulanger, Ernest Ansermet, and Craft himself. The book presents a wealth of previously unpublished information about Stravinsky's relationships with other musicians, and about his methods of composition. The opening section, based on letters to Stravinsky from his first wife Catherine, is among the most important material yet made available for an understanding of the composer's personal and family life.If the exchanges with Auden (The Rake's Progress) and Cocteau (Oedipus Rex) take first place for general interest, the letters to Ansermet - who conducted more performances of Stravinsky's music than anyone but the composer himself - give a remarkable view of the musical and ballet worlds, especially of the Diaghilev period, and of the great impresario himself. This book, accompanied by two further volumes, is a major contribution to the Stravinsky canon and to the cultural history of the twentieth century.
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This book is full of pictures from his life. We get rare glimpses not only at him and those with whom he lived is life, but artifacts such as posters, drafts of works, scores, even a picture of Stravinsky playing the piano in concert. One of my favorites is the master in a hotel nightclub at the piano working on the important but rarely performed "Threni". Or the sheet with the various versions of the row that is the source for the "Septet". I mean how cool is that?
The text is surely by Robert Craft. While he and Stravinsky's widow author the book, Vera, it really has to be the work of Craft. I tell you that I feel ever grateful to that man for the support he gave Stravinsky that allowed him to have the energy and support to compose his later works (those after "The Rake's Progress).
This book is not inexpensive, but for those of us who revere Stravinsky, there is no substitute for your library.