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STRAVINSKY

photo by ERIK SCHAAI,

STRAVINSKY:
AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY

SIMON AND SCHUSTER

1956

NEW YORK

A.JL.JL.

RIGHTS RESERVED

Copyright 393&y by Simon and, Schttster y Inc.


386 Fourth Avenue, Neiu York,
y

Printed, in the United, States by-

Stratford Press, Inc.,

New York

At the end

of the text following the Index will be

found some

portraits

and photographs

of

Igor Stravinsky

JUN271967
CITY

MM

PlfPlir LIBRARY

^VVUM/VVVVVVVVV/VVVt/VVVVW

FOREWORD
The aim

of this

lections connected
is

volume

is to set

down a few recol-

with various periods of

my life. It

equally intended for those interested in rny music

and in myself. Rather, therefore, than a biography


it

will be a simple account of important events side

by side with facts of minor consequence: both, however, have a certain significance for me, and I wish
to relate

them according

to the dictates of rny

mem-

ory.

Naturally I shall not be able

bounds of bare statement. As I

to

keep within the

my recollections
to mind, I shall necessarily be obliged to speak
of my
and
abhoropinions, my tastes, my preferences,
my
call

rences.

am

but too well aware of

how much

ings vary in the course of time. This


take great care not to confuse

is

these feel-

why

I shall

my present reactions
with those experienced at other stages in my life.

FOREWORD
There are

still

further reasons which induce

to write this book.

given,

me

In numerous interviews I have

my thoughts, my words,

and even

often been disfigured to the extent of

facts have

becoming ab-

solutely unrecognizable.
I therefore undertake this task today in order to

present to the reader a true picture of myself,


dissipate

the accumulation of

that has gathered about both

and

to

misunderstandings

my work

and

my per-

son.

IGOR STRAVINSKY

PART ONE

^AWVXMWVVVtUAA'VlWVtVVVVW^^

As MEMORY reaches back along the vista of the years,


the increasing distance adds to the difficulty of see-

ing clearly and choosing between those incidents

which make a deep impression and those which,


though perhaps more important in themselves, leave
no

trace,

and in no

way influence

one's development.

Thus, one of my earliest memories of sound will

seem somewhat odd.


It

was in the country, where

most people of their

class,

their children. I can see

it

now.

An

simply clad in a short red

parents, like

summer with

spent the

enormous peas-

The

ant seated on the stump of a tree.

tang of fresh-cut wood in

my

sharp resinous

my nostrils.

The peasant

His bare legs cov-

shirt.

ered with reddish hair, on his feet birch sandals, on


his

head a mop of hair

beard

as thick

and

as

red as his

not a white hair, yet an old man.

He was dumb, but he had


[

way

of clicking his

STRA FINSKY
were afraid of
tongue very noisily ; and the children
him. So was I. But curiosity used to triumph over

would gather round him. Then,


to amuse them, he would begin to sing. This song
was composed of two syllables, the only ones he
fear.

The

children

They were devoid of any meanbut he made them alternate with incredible

could pronounce.
ing,

He

dexterity in a very rapid tempo.

pany

clucking in the following

this

the

of his right

palm
would work

his left

hand under

arm with

used to accom-

way

pressing

his left armpit,

a rapid

he

movement,

making it press on the right hand. From beneath the


red shirt he extracted a succession of sounds which

were somewhat dubious but very rhythmic, and


which might be euphemistically described as resounding
at

home

kisses.

I set

so often

two

me beyond words, and

myself with zeal

and

to indulge in

This amused

to imitate this

so successfully that I

music

was forbidden

such an indecent
accompaniment.

dull syllables

which alone remained thus

their attraction for

The

lost all

me.

Another memory which often comes back is the


singing of the

women

There were a great

of the
neighboring village.

many
[

of them,

and regularly

STRAVINSKY
every evening they sang in unison on their

home

after the day's work.

member

the tune, and the

how when
;

manner., I
ear.

used to sing

To

this

day

way they

I clearly re-

sang

and

it.,

home, imitating their


was complimented on the trueness of my
I

This praise made

it

at

me very happy.

And it is an odd thing that this


fling

way

though

me, because

it

it

occurrence., tri-

seems, has a special significance for

marks the dawn of

my

consciousness

of myself in the role of musician.


I will confine

myself to those two impressions of

summer, which was always associated with a picture


of the country, and of all the things to be seen and
heard there.

Winter was quite another story town. My


memories of that do not go so far back as those of summer, and

I date

about three years


liberty

them from the time when


old.

Winter, with

and amusements, with

its

its

was

curtailing of

rigorous discipline

and interminable length, was not

likely to

make

en-

during impressions.

My parents were not specially concerned with


my musical development until

that there was music in the house,

was

nine. It

is

true

my father being the

STRAVINSKY
of the Imperial Opera in St.
leading bass singer
all this music only at a disPetersburg, but I heard
brothers and
to which
from the
tance

my

nursery

were relegated.

When I was

nine

my parents

gave

me

a piano

to read music, and,


very quickly learned
the result of reading, soon had a longing to im-

mistress. I
as

provise,

a pursuit to

which

devoted myself, and

which for a long time was my favorite occupation.


There cannot have been anything very interesting
in these improvisations, because I was frequently reproached for wasting

my

time in that

of practicing properly, but I

was

way

instead

definitely of

a dif-

and the reproaches vexed me conAlthough today I understand and admit

ferent opinion,
siderably.

the need of this discipline for a child of nine or ten,


I

must say that

my

was not absolutely


contributed to

Apropos of

this, I

work

fruitless 5 for,

my

and, on the other,

constant

better

it

at improvisation

on the one hand,

knowledge of the piano,

sowed the seed of musical

ideas.

should like to quote a remark of

Rimsky-Korsakov's that he made later on

became

it

his pupil. I asked

him whether

in always composing at the piano.

when

was right

"Some compose

STRAVINSKY
at the piano/'

he

replied,

"and some without a piano.

As for you, you will compose


matter of

it.

As a

do compose at the piano and I do

fact, I

not regret

at the piano."

think

go further;

a thousand

it is

times better to compose in direct contact with the

medium

physical
stract

medium produced by

work

in the ab-

one's imagination.

Apart from my improvisation and piano-pracI found immense pleasure in reading the opera

tice,

scores of

the

of sound than to

more

which
so

father's library consisted

all

because I was able to read with great

My mother

facility.

have inherited
fore,

my

it

from

when for the

had that

also

first

gift,

and

must

Imagine my joy, theretime I was taken to the thea-

her.

where they were giving an opera with which as


a pianist I was already familiar. It was A Life for

tre

the Tsar, and


the

first

time.

it

was then

heard an orchestra for

And what an

The impression was

orchestra

indelible, but it

Glinka's!

must not be

supposed that this was due solely to the fact that

was the

first

orchestra I ever heard.

only Glinka's music in


as well,

itself,

remains a perfect

so intelligent is his

To

it

this day, not

but his orchestration

monument

of musical art

balance of tone, so distin7

STRAVINSKY
and by the
guished and delicate his instrumentation;
latter I mean his choice of instruments and his way

was indeed fortunate in hapwith


pening on a chef d'ceuvre for my first contact
attitude towards
great music. That is why my
of combining them. I

Glinka has always been one of unbounded gratitude.

remember having heard another lyrical work


that same winter, but it was by a composer of the
I

second rank

Alexander Serov

and on that occa-

by the dramatic action.


had the leading part, a role in which he

sion I was impressed only

My father

was particularly admired by the Petersburg public.


He was a very well-known artist in his day. He

had a beautiful voice and an amazing technique,


acquired in studying by the Italian method at the
St.

Petersburg Conservatoire, in addition to great

dramatic talent

a rare attribute

among opera

sin-

gers at that time.

About the same time


opera, Ruslan

given

and Ludmilla,

heard Glinka's second


at a gala

performance

to celebrate its fiftieth


anniversary.

My father

took the part of Farlaf, which was one of the best in

was a memorable evening for me.


Besides the excitement I felt at
hearing this music

his repertoire. It

STRAVINSKY
that I already loved to distraction.,

it

was

my

good

fortune to catch a glimpse in the foyer of Peter

Tchaikovsky, the idol of the Russian


I

public.,

had never seen before and was never

He had

whom

to see again.

just conducted the first audition of his

symphony
night later

the Pathetic

in St. Petersburg.

me

mother took

my

to a concert

new

A fortwhere

symphony was played in memory of its


composer, who had been suddenly carried off by
cholera. Deeply though I was impressed by the un-

the same

expected death of the great musician, I was far from


realizing at the

moment that this

ing Tchaikovsky

become one of

fleeting

my most

glimpse of the

though

it

was

liv-

would

treasured memories. I shall

my readers more of Tchaikovsky, of his music, and of my struggles on its behalf with some of my confreres, who obstinately
have occasion

later to tell

persist in a heresy

which

will not permit

them

to

recognize as "authentic" Russian music anything


outside the

At

memory

work

of the Five.

this point I

am

simply recording a personal

of the celebrated composer, for

whom my

Name given to a group composed of Balakirev, Moussorgsky,


Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Cui.
1

STRAVINSKY
admiration has continued to grow with the develop-

ment

of
I

my musical consciousness.

think that the beginning of

as artist

and musician dates from

my conscious life

this time.

^/VWVWWVIAM/VWVVU*VVV\

WVV^^

PICTURE the

series of

my

adolescence as a

irksome duties and the perpetual frustra-

tion of all

my desires and aspirations. The constraint


had just gone filled me with
hated the classes and tasks, and I was but

of the school to
aversion. I

which

reproaches which

and

my lack of industry giving rise to


only increased my dislike for the

a very poor pupil,

school

years of

first

its lessons.

Nor

did I find any compensa-

tion for all this unpleasantness in those school friend-

which might have made things easier. During


my school life, I never came across anyone who

ships
all

had any

real attraction for

being always absent.

Was

me, something essential


it my fault, or was it sim-

ply bad luck? I cannot say, but the result was that
felt

my

was brought up with


younger brother, of whom I was very fond, I
very lonely. Although

was never able

to

the

my

first place,

open

my heart to him, because, in


were too vague

aspirations

11

to

be

STRA VINSKY
in
formulated, and, secondly,

my innermost being I
mutual

affection, that

there would be misunderstandings

which would

our
feared, notwithstanding

have deeply Wounded

my pride.
where my

budding ambition
had any encouragement was in the house of my unmother's brother-in-law. Both he
cle

The only

place

my

lelatchitch,

and

his children

were fervent music

lovers,

with a

to champion very advanced work,


general tendency
uncle
or what was then considered to be such.

My

belonged
in

St.

Petersburg,

do landowners,
trates,

then predominating

to the class of society

which was composed of well-to-

officials

barristers,

of the higher ranks, magis-

and the

They

like.

all

prided

themselves on their liberalism, extolled progress,

and considered

it

the thing to profess so-called "ad-

vanced" opinions in
of social

what

life.

politics, art,

The reader can

their mentality

was

like

and

all

easily see
:

branches

from

this

a compulsory athe-

ism, a somewhat bold affirmation of "the Rights of

Man," an

attitude of opposition to "tyrannical"

government, the cult of materialistic science, and,


at the

same time, admiration for Tolstoy and his

amateur Christianizing. Special


[

12

artistic tastes

went

STRAVINSKY
with

this mentality,

and

it is

easy to see what they

looked for and appreciated in music. Obviously nat-

uralism was the order of the day, pushed to the


point of realistic expression and accompanied; as was
to

be expected, by popular and nationalistic tenden-

cies

and admiration for

folklore.

And it was on

such

grounds that these sincere music lovers believed that


they must justify their enthusiasm
it

spontaneous though

Moussorgsky
It

was

quick and

for the works of a

would, however, be unfair to imply that

had no appreciation of symphonic music


Brahms was admired, and a little later Bruckner
this set

was discovered, and a special transcription of Wagner's tetralogy was played as a pianoforte duet. Was
it

Glazounov, adopted son of the Five, with his

heavy German academic symphonies, or the

lyrical

symphonies of Tchaikovsky, or the epic symphonies of Borodin, or the

symphonic poems of RimskyKorsakov, that imbued this group with its taste for

symphonism?

Who

can say? But, however that

may

be, all these ardently devoted themselves to that

type of music.
It

was thanks

to this

environment that

13

I got to

STRA 71NSKY
know

the great

German

As for the

composers.

French moderns., they had not yet penetrated into


and it was only later that I had a chance
this
circle,

to

hear them.
In so far as school

to

symphony

concerts

life

and

permitted; I used to go

Russian or foreign pianists ; and in this


Josef

Hofmann, whose

playing

filled

doubled

my

me

serious, precise,

way I heard
and finished

with such enthusiasm that

zeal in studying the piano.

other celebrities

who appeared

I re-

Among

in St. Petersburg at

remember Sophie Menter Eugen <T AlReisenauer, and such of our own famous vir-

the time, I
bert,

by famous

to recitals

tuosi as the pianist

Annette Essipova, the wife of

Leschetitzky; and the violinist ; Leopold Auer.

There were

also

great

symphonic concerts

given by two important societies

Musical Society and the Russian

the Imperial

Symphony Con-

founded by Mitrophan Belaieff that great


patron and publisher of music.
certs

The

concerts of the Imperial


Society

were

by Napravnik, whom I already


knew through the Imperial Opera, of which he was
often conducted

for

many

years the distinguished conductor.


[

14

It

STRAVINSKY
seems to

me that in spite

of his austere conservatism

he was the type of conductor which even today


prefer to

Certainty and unbending rigor

all others.

in the exercise of his art 5 complete contempt for all

and showy effects alike in the presentation of the work and in gesticulation; not the slightaffectation

est concession to the

discipline,

ear and

public 5 and added to that, iron

mastery of the

first

and objectivity in the rendering.

can one imagine? Hans Richter, a

heard a
to

little later

conduct the

ties.

He

whose

also

sole

What

much

celebrated conductor,

when he came

Wagner

belonged

ambition

infallible

as a result, perfect clarity

memory, and,

known and more

an

order,

to that rare

is to

better-

whom

to St. Petersburg

had the same

operas,

better

quali-

type of conductor

penetrate the spirit and the

aim of the composer, and

submerge himself in

to

the score.
I

used to go also to the Belaieff Symphony

Concerts. Belaieff

whom

had formed a group

he helped in every way

rial assistance,

of musicians

giving them mate-

publishing their works and having

them performed

at his concerts.

The

leading fig-

ures in this group were Rimsky-Korsakov and Gla-

15

STRAVINSKY
zounov,

who were

joined

by Liadov and,

later on,

Tcherepnin, the brothers Blumenfeld, Sokolov, and


other

pupils

of

Rimsky-Korsakov.

This

group,

though the offspring of the Five, rapidly changed,


and, perhaps without realizing it, developed a new
school, little

by

little

taking possession of the Con-

servatoire in place of the old academicians

directed

it

since its foundation

who had

by Anton Rubin-

stein.

When I

got into touch with some of the

mem-

bers of this group, its transformation into a

new

had already been accomplished, so that I


found myself confronted by an academy whose aesschool

thetics
to

and dogmas were well established, and had

be accepted or rejected as a whole.


I

was then of an age

prenticeship

when

the

the age of early ap-

critical

faculty

is

generally

and one blindly accepts truths propounded


by those whose prestige is unanimously recognized,

lacking,

especially

when

this prestige is

concerned with the

mastery of technique and the art of savoir faire.

Thus
and

I accepted their

all

the

dogmas quite spontaneously,


more readily because at that time I was

a fervent admirer of
Rimsfcy-Korsakov and Glazou[

16

STRAVINSKY
nov. I
lodic

for

specially

and harmonic

me

to

was

drawn

to the

former by his me-

which then seemed

inspiration,

full of freshness ; to the latter

symphonic form and


5

workmanship.

longed to attain

by

his feeling

both by their scholarly

to

need hardly

how much

stress

this ideal of perfection in

which

I
I

saw the highest degree of art; and with all


the feeble means at my disposal I assiduously strove
to imitate them in my attempts at composition.
really

It

was during these years that

made

the ac-

quaintance of Ivan Pokrovsky, a young man, older

than myself , highly cultured, with advanced


a lover of art in general

My
it

association with

relieved the

monotony of

introduced

me

field of

to authors of

had known nothing


ers

above

such as Gounod, Bizet,

Even then

school life

my

tastes,

particular.

him was very pleasant,

same time extended the

He

and of music in

because

and

at the

artistic ideas.

whom,

till

then, I

French composDelibes, and Chabrier.


all to

I noticed a certain affinity

between the

music of these composers and that of Tchaikovsky,


an affinity which I saw much more clearly when,
later, I

was

examine and compare their

able to

works with a more practiced eye.


[

17

It is

true that I

STRA VINSKY
was familiar with those pages of Faust and Carmen
which one heard everywhere, but it was chiefly the

was always hearing them that had pre-

fact that I

vented

me from

consciously forming an opinion of

these musicians. It

was only on looking

into their

I discovered in

works with Pokrovsky that

them a

musical language which was unfamiliar to me, and


which differed noticeably from that of the Belaieff

group and

its

kind. I found in

them

a different type

of musical writing, different harmonic methods, a


different melodic conception, a freer

and fresher

feeling for form. This gave rise to doubts, as yet

what had up till


then seemed unassailable dogma. That is why I am
eternally grateful to Pokrovsky for from my disbarely perceptible, with regard to

cussions with

him

from the influence

dates

my

that, all

gradual emancipation

unknown

to myself, the

academicism of the time was exercising over me.

must

say,

however, that for

still

to

come, in

domination of this group

spite of everything, the

was

many years

noticeable in me.

Indeed, I often undertook to defend the principles of the

ner,

group, and in a most peremptory

when I came up

man-

against the antiquated opinions


[

18

STRA VINSKY
of those

who

had long
battle

did not realize that they themselves

since

with

my

been

left

behind. Thus I had to

second piano mistress, a pupil and

admirer of Anton Rubinstein. She was an excellent


pianist
sessed

and a good musician, but completely ob-

by her adoration

for her illustrious master,

whose views she blindly accepted, and


difficulty

in

making her

accept

the

had great
scores

Rimsky-Korsakov or of Wagner which


period I was fervently studying. But here

of

at that

must

say that, notwithstanding our differences of opinion, this excellent

musician managed

to give a

new

my piano playing and to the development of my technique. At that moment the question of my vocation had not been raised in any definite form either by my parents or by myself. And
impetus to

how

could one in fact foretell the hazardous course

of a composer's career?

My parents, like the majorthought above

all

of

the education necessary to enable

me

to

ity of their class, therefore,

giving

me

obtain a post, administrative or otherwise, which

would assure

me

a livelihood. That

is

why,

as

soon

had matriculated, they considered it advisable


that I should study law at the University of St. Peas I

19

STRA FINSKY
As

tersburg.

for ray inclinations

tions for music,

and

my

predilec-

they regarded them as mere ama-

teurism, to be encouraged

to a point,

up

without in

the least taking into consideration the degree to

which

my

seems to

aptitudes

me

might be developed. This now

quite natural.

The next few years,


late

and then

to

wort

in which I had to matricu-

at the University,

were, as

may well

be imagined, by no means attractive

my point

of view, because

where. However, at
agreed to give

me

my interests

all

from

lay else-

my urgent request, my parents

a teacher of harmony. I therefore

began the study of harmony, but, contrary to all


expectation, I found no satisfaction in it, perhaps

owing

to

the pedagogical incompetence

teacher, perhaps to the

and

this is

most

of

my

method used, and perhaps

likely

to

my

inherent aversion

any dry study. Let me make myself clear. I always did, and still do, prefer to achieve my aims
to

any problems which confront me in the


course of my work solely by my own efforts, withand

to solve

out having recourse to established processes


do,

it is

true, facilitate the task, but

be learned and then remembered.

20

which

which must

To

first

learn and re-

STRAVINSKY
member such

seemed

be, always

however useful they might


me dull and boring I was too

things.,

to

lazy for that sort of work, especially as I

my

faith in

memory.

If that

should certainly have found


sibly even pleasure, in

it.

had been

more

interest,

I insist

had

little

better, I

and pos-

on the word

though some people might find it too


light a word for the scope and significance of the
'pleasure/'

feeling that I

But

am

trying to indicate.

can experience this feeling of pleasure

in the very process of work, and in looking forward


to the joy that

And

admit that

have been
necessity,

ing,

any find or discovery may bring.

so,

am

not sorry that this should

because perfect facility would, of

have diminished

and the

satisfaction of

my

eagerness in striv-

having "found" would

not have been complete.

On

the other hand, I was

much drawn

study of counterpoint, though that

is

to the

generally con-

sidered a dry subject, useful only for pedagogical

purposes.

From

about the age of eighteen I began

no other help than an ordinary manual. The work amused me, even thrilled
me, and I was never tired of it. This first contact
to

study

it

alone, with

21

STRAVINSKY
with the science of counterpoint opened up at once
a far vaster and

more

fertile field in

the domain of

musical composition than anything that


could offer me.

And

so I set

soul to the task of solving the


contains. This

amused

me

harmony

myself with heart and

many problems

tremendously, but

it

it

was

extent those
only later that I realized to what an

had helped

exercises

my

taste in

tion and

music.

my

dation of

to develop

They

my

stimulated

judgment and

my

imagina-

compose $ they laid the foun-

desire to

all

my

future technique; prepared

me

thoroughly for the study of form, of orchestration,

and of instrumentation which

later I took

up with

Rimsky-Korsakov.

have

now

reached the period at which I

made

the acquaintance of that illustrious

poser.

When

went

to the University I

com-

found his

youngest son there, and was very soon on the best


of terms with him.

knew

of

In

family

At

that time his father hardly

my existence.
1902 Rimsky-Korsakov took

to

spend the

summer

berg, where one of his sons


University.

At the same time


[

22

his

vacation at Heidel-

was a student

my mother and
]

whole

at the
I

had

STRAVINSKY
Bad Wildungen with ray

to

gone

already seriously

ill.

From, there

father,

who was

rushed over to

my fellow student and also to conabout my vocation. I told him of my

Heidelberg to see
sult his father

ambition to become a composer, and asked his ad-

He made me

vice.

Alas! the

way

from what

in

play some of

if I

course,

and

attempts.

had hoped. Seeing how upset


to

was,

discourage me, he

could play anything


it

first

which he received them was far

and evidently anxious not


asked

my

else.

I did so, of

was only then that he gave

his opin-

ion.

He

told

me

continue

my

studies in

that before anything else I

harmony and

must

counterpoint

with one or other of his pupils in order

to acquire

complete mastery in the schooling of craftsmanship,

but at the same time he strongly advised

not to enter the Conservatoire.

He

me

considered that

the atmosphere of that institution, in which he

was

himself a professor, was not suited to me, for I


should be overwhelmed with work, and he suggested I might as well go on with

my

University

was twenty he feared that I


might find myself backward in comparison with
course. Moreover, as I

23

STRAVINSKY

my

contemporaries; and that this might discourage

me.

He further considered it necessary that my work

should be systematically supervised, and that this


could be achieved only

by

private lessons.

He

fin-

by adding that I could always go to him for


to take me in
advice, and that he was quite willing

ished

hand when

had acquired the necessary founda-

tion.

Although in

my

ingenuousness I was some-

what downcast over the lack of enthusiasm that the


master had shown for
tion, I

attempts at composi-

found some comfort in the fact that he had

nevertheless advised
so

my first

me

to continue

my studies,

and

demonstrated his opinion that I had sufficient

ability to devote

comforted

me

all

myself to a musical career. This


the

more because everyone knew

the rigor and frankness of his judgment

when

verdict as to the musical vocation of a


beginner

his

was

required he fully realized the personal responsibil:

ity attaching to his great authority.

The

story

was

young doctor who came to show him his


compositions and ask for advice. Having learned
that he was a doctor, Rimsky-Korsakov said: "Extold of a

cellent.

Continue to practice medicine."

STRAVINSKY
After

my

interview with the master I had

firmly resolved to devote myself seriously to


studies

with

my

was thoroughly bored, and

found that I

my

harmony teacher, but once again I


felt that I

was making scarcely any progress.

At
vented

me from

my

the death of
there

the

moment

that

was the

company

several circumstances pre-

working regularly.

First there

father in November, 1902.

was

Then

an independent life in
friends, who formed an ever-

desire to live

of

my

widening circle, largely owing to my association


with the Rimsky-Korsakov family, of whom I saw
as

much

ment

as possible. In this

formed new

whom I met
terests of

young

ties

there, all of

one

highly cultured environ-

among

whom

sort or another.

scientists,

the

had

young people

intellectual in-

There were

painters,

scholars, enlightened amateurs of

the most advanced views.

One

friend Stepan Mitoussov, with

posed the libretto for

my

of

them was

whom

opera,

later I

my

com-

Le RossignoL

We

took a passionate interest in everything that went on


in the intellectual and artistic life of the capital.

Diaghileff had just started the publication of his

vanguard review, Mir Iskoustva (The World of


[

25

STRAVINSKY
Art), and was organizing his exhibitions of pictures.

At

the same time

my

friends Pokrovsky, Nouvel,

and Nurok founded an interesting musical society


which they called Soirees of Contemporary Music.
It is needless to

groups in

my artistic and intellectual

how much

my

speak of the importance of these two


evolution,

and

they strengthened the development of

creative faculty.

Here

must break the thread of

my

story in

order to acquaint the reader with the


antagonism

which was inevitably to arise between opinion in


academic circles and the new trend in art which
these two societies stood for. I will not
expatiate

on

the aggressive hostility with which the


reactionary
and conservative set in the Academy and the Imperial Society for the

the activities

Encouragement of Art met


of Diaghileff, and
particularly his re-

view Mir Iskoustva

and God knows what he en-

dured in that struggle! I will touch here


only on the
musicians and their attitude towards the whole of
this

new movement.

Certainly the majority of the

Conservatoire pedagogues were


against it, and accused it, of course., of
corrupting the taste of the

younger generation. But


[

26

must
]

say, in justice to

STRAVINSKY
Rimsky-Korsakov and Liadov,
their disapproval,, they
finesse

not to

make

had

that, notwithstanding

sufficient

courage and

a sweeping condemnation of

everything serious and appreciable that modern art

had

to offer.

The

following

is

illustrative of the attitude of

the old master towards Debussy.

At

a concert

where

works was on the program I asked


Rimsky-Korsakov what he thought of it. He anone of the

latter's

swered in these very words: "Better not

him one runs


j

listen to

the risk of getting accustomed to

him

and one would end by liking him." But such was not
the attitude of his disciples
ist

they were more royal-

than the King. The rare exceptions discoverable

among them
ollection of

very

much

had a
clear

served only to prove the rule.

Liadov

is

My rec-

a pleasant one. His head looked

like that of a

Kalmuck woman, and he

and kindly nature. Bent on


and meticulous writing, he was very strict with
gentle, agreeable,

and with himself, composing very little


and working slowly, and, so to speak, under a micro-

his pupils

scope.

He

read much, and, considering the atmos-

phere of the Conservatoire where he was a professor,

he was fairly broad-minded.


[

27

STRAVINSKY
It

was

at this period that I

became acquainted

with the works of Csar Franck, Vincent d'Indy,


of whose names I
Faure, Paul Dukas, and Debussy,

had hardly heard. Our Academy pretended to know


of widespread
nothing of all these French composers
their works in the profame, and never included
concerts. As the Soirees
of the

symphony
not the wherewithal
Contemporary Music had
big

grams

of

for giving orchestral performances, we were at that


time able to hear only the chamber music of these

not
composers. It was
Siloti

till

later, at the concerts

of

and those of Koussevitzky, that our public had

a chance to hear their symphonic productions.

The impressions
composers ;

so different

urally varied.

formed of the work of these

from each

My feelings were

other,

were nat-

already beginning

on the subject of C6sar Franck and his


academic thought, Vincent d'Indy and his scholastic

to crystallize

the one hand, and


yet Wagnerian mentality, on

Debussy on the other, with his extraordinary freedom and a freshness of technique that was really
quite

new

for his period.

Next

to

him Chabrier

ap-

pealed most to me, notwithstanding his well-known

Wagnerianism

(to

my mind a purely superficial and


[

28

STRAVINSKY
outward aspect of him) , and
has increased with time.

for his music

must not be imagined that my inclination to-

It

wards the new


spoken.,

my

my taste

tendencies,, of

meant any diminution

which
in

my

have

just

adoration for

old masters, because all the appreciations ex-

pressed above were then only subconsciously germinating; while consciously I felt an imperative need
to get a foothold in

that only

my

profession. I could achieve


to the discipline of these

by submitting

masters, and,

by implication,

discipline, while of the

utmost rigor, was

time most productive, and


ble for the

Rome

number

to their aesthetics.

it

at the

This

same

was in no way responsi-

of mediocrities of the Prix de

type to which our

Academy gave

birth every

year. But, as I have said, in submitting to their dis-

from

cipline I

was confronted by

which

could not be divorced. Indeed, every doc-

it

trine of aesthetics,

a particular

nique of

its

mode

own

when put

their aesthetics,

into practice,

of expression

for, in art,

demands

in fact, a tech-

such a thing as a tech-

nique founded on no given basis in short, a technique in the void would be utterly inconceivable
5

and

it

would be

still

more
[

difficult to

29

imagine when

STRAVINSKY
a whole group, or school,

my teachers

cannot, therefore, reproach


to their

clung

own

aesthetics;

done otherwise and,


5

hindrance

knowledge that

as a

On

me.

to

under consideration.

is

own

matter of

fact, it

the other hand, the technical

must

later to establish

craftsmanship.
is

was no

me

acquired, thanks to them, gave

was able

be, there

for having

they could not have

a foundation of incalculable value in

which

its solidity,

and develop

on

my

No matter what the subject may

only one course for the beginner; he

at first accept

a discipline imposed from with-

means of obtaining freedom for,


and strengthening himself in, his own method of
out, but only as the

expression.

About

this

time I composed a full-sized sonata

for the piano. In this

fronted by

work

many difficulties,

form, the mastery of which


after prolonged study,

gested the idea of


again. I

the

went

summer

a fortnight.

my

to see

of

especially in matters of

is

and

was constantly con-

usually acquired only

my

perplexities sug-

consulting Rimsky-Korsakov

him

in the country at the end of

905, and stayed with

He made me compose

the

him
first

for about

part of a

sonatina under his supervision, after


having in[

30

STRAVINSKY
me in the principles of the allegro of a
sonata. He explained these principles with a lucidity
so remarkable as to show me at once what a great
teacher he was. At the same time he taught me the
structed

compass and the registers of the different instruments used in contemporary symphonic orchestras.,

and the

elements of the art of orchestration.

first

He

adopted the plan of teaching form and orchestration


side

by

side,

because in his view the more highly de-

veloped musical forms found their fullest expression


in the complexity of the orchestra.
I

worked with him in

me some

way he would give


score of a new opera he

this

pages of the piano

had just finished/ which I was to orchestrate. When


I had orchestrated a section he would show me his
;

own

instrumentation of the same passage. I had to

compare them, and then he would ask me to explain


why he had done it differently. Whenever I was un-

was he who explained. Thus was established our association as teacher and pupil., which,
able to do so,

it

with the beginning of regular lessons in the autumn,


continued for about three years.

Although he was giving


1

me

Pan Voivoda.

31

lessons,

he never-

STRAVINSKY
theless

wanted

me

counterpoint with

to continue

still

my

studies of

my former teacher, who

was one

of his pupils. But I think that he only insisted for


conscience' sake,

sons

and that he realized that these

would not take

me

afterwards I

far. Shortly

gave them up, though that did not prevent


continuing alone the

which

I took

counterpoint

more and more

that period I filled a thick

was

les-

me from

exercises,

interest,

in

and during

volume with them. Alas!

my country house in Russia, where,


together with my whole library, it disappeared durit

left in

ing the Revolution.

My work
his giving
I

with Rimsky-Korsakov consisted of

me pieces

of classical music to orchestrate.

remember that they were

chiefly parts of Bee-

thoven's sonatas, and of Schubert's quartets

marches. Once a week I took


criticized

and corrected

it,

and

my work to him and he

giving

me

all

the neces-

sary explanations, and at the same time he

made me

analyze the form and structure of classical works.

A year and a half later I began the composition of a


symphony. As soon

ment

as I finished

used to show

it

to

32

him,
]

one part of a moveso that

my

whole

STRAVINSKY
work, including the instrumentation, was under his
control.
I

composed

this

symphony

at the

time when

Alexander Glazounov reigned supreme in the


ence of symphony. Each

new

sci-

production of his was

received as a musical event of the

first order,

so

greatly were the perfections of his form, the purity


of his counterpoint, and the ease and assurance of
his writing appreciated.

At

that time I shared this

admiration whole-heartedly, fascinated by the astonishing mastery of this scholar.


quite natural that side

by

It

was, therefore,

with other influences

side

(Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Rimsky-Korsakov) his pre-

dominated, and that in

my

symphony

modeled

myself particularly on him.

At

this point the period of

my

adolescence

came to an end. In the spring of 1 905 I finished my


University course. In the autumn I became engaged,
and

was married in January, 1906.

;v/wwvvvwwvvwvwvtvtv\v^.vvxvxwvvvvvvvvvwi/vvvwvvw

AFTER MY marriage

continued

my

lessons with

Rimsky-Korsakov, the work consisting mainly of

showing him

my

with him. During the season of 1906-1907,


ished

my

compositions and discussing them

my symphony

and dedicated

suite for voice

it to

him.

I fin-

com-

and orchestra, Faunc

posed also a

little

et Bergere,

on three poems by Pushkin in the man-

ner of Parny. Rimsky-Korsakov,

who had

closely

followed the composition of these two works, wish-

ing to give

me

the opportunity of hearing them,

arranged with the Court orchestra to have them

performed in the spring of 1907 at a private audition under the direction of its usual conductor,,

H. Wahrlich.
In the season of!907-19Q8, Faune et
Bergkre

was given in public


conducted, if I
f eld. I

at

one of the Belaieff concerts,

remember

by Felix Blumenhad two important works in hand at the same


t

rightly,

34

STRAVINSKY
time the Scherzo Fantastique and the
:

opera,

Le Rossignol, the libretto

ten in collaboration with

my

of

first act

of

my

which I had writ-

friend Mitoussov. It

was based on a story by Hans Andersen. This work


was greatly encouraged by my master, and to this
day

remember with pleasure

his approval of the

preliminary sketches of these compositions.

me much

that he

was never

to

finished f orm, for I think that

It

grieves

hear them in their

he would have

them. Concurrently with this important work,

liked
I

was

composing two vocal settings for the words of a


young Russian poet, Gorodetsky. He was one of a

group of authors who, by their talent and their


freshness, were destined to put new life into our

somewhat old-fashioned poetry. These two songs


were later called in French La Novice and Sainte
Rosee.

They and

Pastorale.,

a song without words,

were given at the Soirees in the winter of 1908.


It was during that winter that my poor master's
health began to

fail.

was only too likely that the end


often went to see him, apart from my

gave warning that

was near.
lessons,

Frequent attacks of angina

it

and he seemed

to like

my visits. He had my

deep affection, and I was genuinely attached to him.


[

35

STRAVINSKY
It

seems that these sentiments were reciprocated, but

it

was only

from

later that I learned so

his family.

His characteristic reserve had never allowed

him

to

sort of display of his feelings.

make any

Before starting for the country, where I gen-

good-by

to

him. That was the

In my talk with him

tral fantasy, called

Feu

plated.
to

him

He seemed
as

and

my vacation, my wife

erally spent

soon as

told

went

time

him about

and

was ready.
our

as I arrived at Oustiloug,

to say

saw him.

a short orches-

contem-

d*Artifice, that I

interested,

it

last

told

I set to

me

to

work

estate in

send
as

it

soon

Volhynia,

with the intention of sending the score to him for


his daughter's

wedding, which was shortly

place. I finished it in six

weeks and sent

few days

his death,

later a telegram

informed

and shortly afterwards

packet was returned to

it off to

was spending the sum-

the country place where he

mer.

to take

me "Not
:

my

me

of

registered

delivered

on

ac-

count of death of addressee." I joined his family at

once in order to attend the funeral, which took place


in

St.

Petersburg.

The service was

held in the chapel

of the Conservatoire. His tomb, in the Novodievitchy

Cemetery,

is

near that of

my

36

father.

STRAVINSKY
On

returning to the country, and wishing to

pay some

tribute to the

memory

of

my

master, I

composed a Chant Fun&bre, which was performed


in the autumn, Felix Blumenf eld
conducting, at the
first

Belaieff concert,

memory

which was dedicated

of the great musician.

The

to the

score of this

work unfortunately disappeared in Russia during


the Revolution, along with many other things which
I

had

left there. I

can no longer remember the

music, but I can remember the idea at the root of


conception,

which was that

all

of the orchestra filed past the


succession, each laying

its

the solo instruments

tomb of the master in

down

its

own melody

as its

wreath against a deep background of tremolo mur-

murings simulating the vibrations of bass voices


singing in chorus.
lic,
it

as well as

was due

The impression made on the pub-

on myself, was marked, but how far

to the

how
am no

atmosphere of mourning and

far to the merits of the composition itself I

longer able to judge.

The
and Feu

presentation of the Scherzo Fantastique

d'Artifice at the Siloti concerts in the winter

marks a date of importance for the whole future of


my musical career. It was at this point that I began
[

37

STRA FINSKY
the close relations with Diaghileff which lasted for

twenty years, right up

to his death.,

into a deep friendship based

and developed

on a reciprocal

affec-

was proof against the difference of views


which could not but arise from time to time

tion that

or tastes

Having heard the two commentioned, he commissioned me,

in such a long period.


just

positions

certain other Russian composers, to orches-

among
trate

two pieces by Chopin for the

ballet,

Les Syl-

phideSy to be given in Paris in the spring of 1909,

They were

the Nocturne with

which the dancing


begins and the False Brillante with which the ballet
closes. I

could not go abroad that year, so that

not until twelve months afterwards that I

my

it

first

was

heard

music in Paris.
These compositions, together with the death of

Rimsky-Korsakov, had interrupted


first act

of

1909

of

finishing

my

opera,

on the

Le RossignoL In the summer

I returned to it
it.

my work

with the firm intention of

There were

to

be three

acts.

But

cir-

cumstances once again proved too


strong for me. By
the end of the summer the orchestration of the first
act
to

was

on returning to town, I meant


go on with the rest. But a telegram then arrived
finished, and,

38

STRAVINSKY
to upset all

reached

St.

my

plans.

Petersburg, asked

Feu

for L'Oiseau de

who had

Diaghileff,

me to

just

write the music

for the Russian Ballet season at

the Paris Opera House in the spring of 1910. Al-

though alarmed by the fact that this was a commission for a fixed date, and afraid lest I should fail to
complete the work in time

my own

capabilities

was

my

unaware of

accepted the order. It was

highly flattering to be chosen from


cians of

still

among the musi-

generation, and to be allowed to col-

laborate in so important an enterprise side

by

side

with personages who were generally recognized


masters in their

Here
quence of

own

spheres.

must interrupt the chronological

my

music occupied in

so-called

se-

story in order to give the reader a

short account of the place


let

as

which the

ballet

and bal-

and among
"serious" musicians in the period immediintellectual circles

ately preceding the appearance of the Diaghileff

group. Although our ballet shone then, as always,

by reason
it filled

of

its

technical perfection,

the theatre,

it

and although

was only rarely that these

were represented among the audience. They


considered this form of art as an inferior one, espe-

circles

59

STRAVINSKY
compared with opera, which, though mishandled and turned into musical drama (which is
cially as

not at

all

the same thing)

still

retained

its

own pres-

This was particularly the point of view in re-

tige.

gard

to the

music of the

classical "ballet,

contemporary opinion considered

to

which

be unworthy of

a serious composer. These poor souls

had forgotten

Glinka and his splendid dances in the Italian style


in Ruslan and Ludmilla. It is true that
Rimsky-

Korsakov appreciated them


Glinka for them

or,

rather,

forgave

but he himself, in his numerous

operas, definitely gave the preference to character

We

must not forget that it was


these very pages of Glinka which inspired the
great
Russian composer, who was the first to bring about
or national dances.

the serious recognition of ballet music in


general
I refer to Tchaikovsky. In the early
eighties

had the audacity

to

he had

compose a ballet for the Grand

Theatre in Moscow, Le Lac des Cygnes, and he had


to

pay for

his audacity

ignorant public,
sic as

cess,

subsidiary

by complete failure with the


which would only admit ballet muand unimportant. His lack of suc-

however, did not prevent the Director of the

Imperial Theatres, Ivan Vsevolojsky


[

40

a very en-

STRAVINSKY
from commis-

lightened and cultured aristocrat

sioning Tchaikovsky to compose another

Sleeping Beauty.

It

ballet,,

The

was produced with unprece-

dented lavishness (the production cost eighty thou-

sand rubles) in the presence of the Emperor Alex-

ander III at the Marie Theatre in

December, 1889. This music was

by the
ics.

St.

as

Petersburg in

much

incorrigible "balletomaniacs" as

They

considered that

was

it

by

discussed

the crit-

too symphonic,

and

did not lend itself sufficiently to dancing. Nevertheless, it

made

a great impression on musicians,

and

completely changed their attitude towards the ballet


in general. Thus, a few years later

we

see,

one after

the other, such composers as Glazounov, Arensky,

and Tcherepnin composing

ballets for the Imperial

Theatres.

At the moment when

I received Diaghileff's

commission, the ballet had just undergone a great


transformation owing to the advent of a young ballet

master, Fokine, and the flowering of a whole

bouquet of

artists full of talent

lova, Karsavina, Nrjinsky.

admiration for the


ter,

Marius Petipa,

and

Notwithstanding

classical ballet
I

originality Pav-

and

its

all

my

great mas-

could not resist the intoxication

41

STRAVINSKY
produced by such

Les Dances du Prince

ballets as

Igor or Carnaval, the only two of Fokine's productions that I

had

so far seen. All this greatly

me, and impelled

me

to

eagerly seize this opportunity of


tact

making

close con-

with that group of advanced and active

which Diaghileff was the


long attracted me.
of

at

tempted

break through the pale and

soul,

artists

and which had

Throughout the winter I worked strenuously


my ballet and that brought me into constant
;

touch with Diaghileff and his collaborators. Fokine


created the choreography of

by

section, as the

UOiseau de Feu

music was handed

to

section

him.

I at-

tended every rehearsal with the company., and after


rehearsals Diaghileff, Nijinsky

not dancing in the ballet)

(who was, however,


and myself generally

ended the day with a fine dinner, washed down with

good

claret.

then had an opportunity of


observing Nijin-

sky at close quarters.

He

spoke

little,

and,

when he

did speak, gave the impression of


being a very back-

ward youth, whose

intelligence

was very undevel-

oped for his age. But, whenever this occurred, Diaghileff,

who was always beside him, would intervene


[

42

STRAVINSKY
and correct him

so tactfully that

embarrassing defects.

I shall

to speak of

when

took in

my

Nijinsky

no one noticed his

have further occasion

describing the part he

other ballets ; either as dancer or chore-

ographer.

must say more of Diaghileff, because


association I had with him during this first

Here
the close

collaboration revealed the very essence of his great


personality.

What struck me most was the

degree of

endurance and tenacity that he displayed in pursuit


of his ends. His strength in this direction

was

so ex-

was always somewhat terrifying,


the same time reassuring, to work with

ceptional that

it

though at
him. It was terrifying because whenever there was
a divergence of opinion it was arduous and exhausting to struggle with him. But
to

know that the goal was

it

was reassuring

certain to be reached

when

once our differences had been overcome.

The

quality of his intelligence and mentality

also attracted

me.

He had

a wonderful

a mar-

flair,

velous faculty for seizing at a glance the novelty and


freshness of an idea, surrendering himself to

out pausing to reason


that he

was

it

out. I do not

at all lacking in

43

mean

it

to

reasoning power.
]

with-

imply

On the

STRAVINSKY
contrary., his reasoning

powers were unerring, and

he had a most rational mind and, though he fre;

quently made mistakes

or acted foolishly,,

cause he had been carried

away by

it

was be-

passion or tem-

the two forces predominant in him.

perament

He had

at the

same time a broad and generous

nature, usually incapable of calculation, and,

he did

when

meant only that he himself was


On the other hand, when he was in funds

calculate, it

penniless.

he spent lavishly on himself and on


trait in his character

was

others.

An

odd

his strange indifference to-

wards the somewhat dubious honesty of some of


those who were in touch with him
even when they
victimized
set

by

him

so

long as their dishonesty was off-

other qualities.

What he most

detested

were

the commonplace, incapacity, a lack of savoir


faire:

he hated and despised a

fool.

this highly
intelligent

man,

ness were accompanied

by a

ousness.

He

Strangely enough, in

efficiency

and shrewd-

certain childish ingenu-

never bore a grudge.

When

anyone

swindled him, he was not angry, but would remark


simply, "Well,

what of

it?

He's looking after him-

self."

But

to

return to

my score
[

44

of

UQiseau de Feu;

STRAFINSKY
worked strenuously at it, and when I finished it on
time I felt the need of a rest in the country before
I

going

to Paris,

which

was

company and

Diaghileff, with his


tors,

preceded me,

hearsals

were in

so that

when

collabora-

I joined

them

re-

swing. Fokine elaborated the

full

having worked

scenario,

to visit for the first time.

at his

choreography with

burning devotion, the more so because he had fallen


in love with the Russian fairy story. The casting

was not what

had intended. Pavlova, with her slim


angular figure, had seemed to me infinitely better
I

suited to the role of the fairy bird than Karsavina,

with her gentle feminine charm, for

whom

intended the part of the captive princess.

had

Though

circumstances had decided otherwise than I had

had no cause for complaint,


vina's rendering of the bird's part was

planned,

perfect,

had a

that beautiful and gracious artist


success in

since Karsa-

and

brilliant

it.

The performance was warmly applauded by


the Paris public. I am, of course, far from, attribut-

ing this success solely to the score

due

to the spectacle

it

was equally

on the stage in the painter Golo-

vin's magnificent setting, the brilliant interpretation

45

STRA 7INSKY
by Diaghileff 's artists, and the talent of the choreographer. I must admit, however, that the choreography of

this ballet

always seemed to

me

to

be

complicated and overburdened with plastic detail,


so that the artists felt,
difficulty in

and

still

feel

even now, great

coordinating their steps and gestures

with the music, and

this often led to

discordance between the

an unpleasant

movements of the dance

and the imperative demands that the measure of the


music imposed.
Although the evolution of the

and

its

classical

now seem much more

problems

dance

real to

me,
and touch me more closely than the distant aesthetics
of Fokine, I

still

consider that I have a right to

form

and express the opinion that in the sphere of choreography

I prefer,

for example, the vigor of the

Dances du Prince Igor, with their clear-cut and


positive lines,

to

the

somewhat detached designs of

L'Oiseau de Feu.

Returning for a moment

to the music, it
gives

me much pleasure to pay grateful tribute to the mastery with which the eminent Gabriel Piern^ con-

ducted

my work.

While

was in Paris

46

had the opportunity of


]

STRAVINSKY
meeting several persons of importance in the world
of music, such as Debussy, Ravel, Florent Schmitt,

and Manuel de
I recall that

Falla,

on the

who were

first

night Debussy came on to

the stage and complimented

me

was the beginning of friendly


to the end of his life.

The

there at that time.

on

score.

That

which

lasted

my

relations

approbation, and even admiration, ex-

me by

tended to

general, but

the artistic and musical world in

more

particularly

by

representatives of

the younger generation, greatly strengthened

me in

regard to the plans which I had in mind for the


future
of

which

thinking in particular of Petroushka,

I shall

One

of

am

have more

when

to say later.

was finishing the last pages


L'Oiseau de Feu in St. Petersburg, I had a fleetday,

ing vision which came to

my mind

at the

me

as a complete surprise,

moment being

full of other things.

saw in imagination a solemn pagan rite sage elders, seated in a circle, watched a young girl dance
I

herself to death.

They were

sacrificing her to pro-

god of spring. Such was the theme of the


Sacre du Printemps. I must confess that this vision
pitiate the

made

a deep impression on me, and I at once de[

47

STRAVINSKY
scribed

to

it

who had

a painter

welcomed

came my

my friend,

my

specialized in

pagan

subjects.

inspiration with enthusiasm,

He

and be-

collaborator in this creation. In Paris I told

Diaghileff about

by

Nicholas Roerich, he being

and he was

it,

the idea, though

its

at

once carried

realization

away

was delayed by

the following events.

At the end of the Paris season I had a


at the

sea,,

in

laine's words,

which
and

Switzerland with

at

short rest

composed two songs to Verthe end of August I went to

my family.

Before tackling the Sacre du Printemps, which

would be a long and

difficult task, I

wanted

to re-

by composing an orchestral piece in


which the piano would play the most important part
fresh myself

a sort of Konzert'stuck. In
composing the music,
I had in my mind a distinct
picture of a puppet, sud-

denly endowed with

life, exasperating the patience


of the orchestra with diabolical cascades of
arpeg-

gios.

The orchestra in turn

trumpet

blasts.

reaches

its

retaliates

The outcome is

with menacing

a terrific noise

which

climax and ends in the sorrowful and

querulous collapse of the poor puppet. Having finished this bizarre piece, I
struggled for hours, while
[

48

STRAVINSKY
walking beside the Lake of Geneva,

to find a title

which would express in a word the character of my


music and, consequently, the personality of this
creature.

One day I leapt for joy.


title

ghileff

came to

all

visit

countries.

Soon afterwards Dia-

me at Clarens, where I was stay-

He was much

astonished when, instead of

sketches of the Sacre, I played


just

composed and which

scene of Petroushka.
that he

ing

my

Petroushka, the immortal and unhappy hero

of every fair in

ing.

had indeed found

me

it

became the second

it

alone and began persuad-

theme of the puppet's

to develop the

make

later

the piece I had

He was so much pleased with it

would not leave

ings and

him

into a

whole

suffer-

he

ballet. "While

re-

mained in Switzerland we worked out together the


general lines of the subject and the plot in accord-

ance with ideas which I suggested.


scene of action

the

the fair, with

little traditional

magician, with
of the dolls

its

We

crowd,

settled the
its

booths,

theatre, the character of the

all his tricks ;

and the coming

to life

Petroushka, his rival, and the dancer

and their love tragedy, which ends with Petroush[

49

STRAVINSKY
scene
began at once to compose the first
of the ballet, which I finished at Beaulieu, where I

ka's death. I

spent the winter with

my family. While there, I fre-

quently saw Diaghileff,

who was

By mutual agreement,
whole decor of the

at

Diaghileff

ballet,

me

whence he wrote

him

to join

there for a

music so that Benois

might

see

it.

went

struck

to the

me with

As soon
I

had

first

so far

off to St.

asking

days, bringing

my

and his other collaborators


trepidation.

denness of the transition from the sunny

Beaulieu

the

entrusted

at Christmas,

few

went in some

Carlo.

both the scenery and the

costumes, to Benois. Diaghileff soon


Petersburg,

Monte

fog and snow of

my

The

sud-

warmth

of

native city

great force.

my friends hear what

as I arrived I let

composed for Petroushka

namely, the

two scenes and the beginning of the third.

Benois immediately began work, and in the spring

he joined us
I

at

Monte

Carlo, whither Diaghileff

and

had returned.
I little

town

thought then that

for the last time

St. Peter,

St.

had seen

my native

Petersburg, the

town of

by Peter the Great to his great


and not to himself, as was doubtless sup-

dedicated

patron saint

50

STRAVINSKY
posed by the ignorant inventors of the absurd name,
Petrograd.

When
on

my score,

came

returned to Beaulieu,

but

seriously

ill

its

resumed work

progress was interrupted. I be-

with nicotine poisoning, and was

at the point of death, this illness causing a

month

of

enforced idleness. I was terribly anxious about the


fate of Petroushka,

which had

at all costs to

be ready

for Paris in the spring. Fortunately I recovered

strength sufficiently to enable

me to

finish

my

my work

in the ten weeks which remained before the begin-

ning of the season. Towards the end of April I set


out for Rome, where Diaghileff was giving performances at the Costanzi Theatre during the International Exhibition.

and there

There Petroushka was rehearsed,

I finished its last

I shall always

pages.

remember with

first

time. I stayed at

particular pleas-

was seeing for the


the Albergo d'ltalia with

ure that spring in Rome, which

Benois and the Russian painter, Serov, to

whom

became greatly attached. In spite of my strenuous


work, we found time to make various expeditions

which were very

instructive for

me,

as Benois

a learned connoisseur in matters of art

51

was

and history

STRAVINSKY
and had a

talent for

making the

past live, so that

these expeditions provided a veritable education in

which

I delighted.

On

our arrival in Paris,, rehearsals started voider

the direction of Pierre Monteux,


eral years the conductor of the

who was

for sev-

Russian Ballet.

From

an instrumentalist in Colonne's orchestra he had

at-

He knew

his

tained the rank of assistant conductor.


job thoroughly,

and was

so familiar

with the sur-

roundings from which he had risen that he

how to

get on with his musicians

a conductor.

Thus he was

of a conductor, for

a great asset for

able to achieve a very

clean and finished execution of

more

knew

my

any other

no

score. I ask

attitude

on his

part immediately turns into interpretation, a thing


I have a horror of. The interpreter of
necessity can

think of nothing but interpretation, and thus takes

on the garb of a translator ,


traduttore-traditore$
this is an absurdity in
music, and for the interpreter
it is

a source of vanity
inevitably leading to the

ridiculous megalomania.

had the great

During the rehearsals

satisfaction of
seeing that all

tentions with regard to sound effects

confirmed.

most

52

my

in-

were amply

STRAVINSKY
At the

dress rehearsal at the CMtelet, to

the Press and the


invited, I

mediate

elite

of the artistic world

had been

remember that Petroushka produced an im-

effect

on everyone in the audience with the

exception of a few hypercritics.

One

true that he was a literary critic


to Diaghileff

you

which

and

said

them

actually

"And it was

of

to

it is

went up

hear this that

invited us!" "Exactly/' replied Diaghileff, It

only fair to add that later on the celebrated


to

judge by

his praise.,

seemed

to

is

critic,

have forgotten

this

sally.

should like at this point to pay heartfelt

hom-

age to Vaslav Nijinsky's unsurpassed rendering of


the role of Petroushka.

The

perfection with

which

he became the very incarnation of this character was all the more remarkable because the
purely saltatory work in which he usually excelled

was in

this case definitely

dominated by dramatic

and gesture. The beauty of the ballet


was greatly enhanced by the richness of the artistic
for it. My faithful
setting that Benois had created
action, music,

interpreter, Karsavina, swore to

me

that she

would

never relinquish her part as the dancer, which she


adored. But

it

was a pity that the movements of the


C

55

STRAVINSKY
crowd had been neglected.

mean

that they were

improvisation of the performers

left to the arbitrary

instead of being choreographically regulated in ac-

cordance with the clearly defined exigencies of the


music. I regret

it all

d* ensemble of the

and the

the

more because the danses

coachmen, nurses, and

must be regarded

solo dances

mummers

as Fokine's

finest creations.

As

Petroushka,
to the

it

will be best to refer the reader

I shall

my works,

devote later to

which

my own ren-

will necessarily lead

me

speak of them.

And now
As

for the Sacre

have already

du Printemps,

said,

when

conceived the

immediately after L'Qiseau de Feu,

idea,
so

present opinion of the music of

think

pages that

dering of
to

my

for

much

that I

became

absorbed in the composition of Petroushka

had no chance even

to sketch

preliminary out-

lines.

After the Paris season,

returned to Oustiloug,

our estate in Russia, to devote myself entirely to the


Sacre du Printemps. I found time, however, to compose two melodies to the words of the Russian poet

Balmont. Besides that, also to Balrnont's


words, I
[

54

STRAVINSKY
composed a cantata for choir and orchestra Zvezdoliki (The King of the Stars), which I dedicated to
;

Claude Debussy. Owing, however.,

to inherent diffi-

culties involved in the execution of this

piece,

with

important orchestral contingent and

its

the complexity of
tonation,

it

very short

its

choral writing as regards in-

has never been performed.


I

Although

had conceived the

subject of the

Sacre du Printemps without any plot, some plan had


to

be designed for the

was necessary that


staying at the

sacrificial action.

For

I should see Roerich.

moment

this

it

He was

at Talachkino, the estate of

Princess Tenicheva, a great patron of Russian art. I

joined him, and

it

was there that we

settled the vis-

ual embodiment of the Sacre and the definite se-

quence of

its

returning to

began the score on


Oustiloug, and worked at it through

different episodes. I

the winter at Clarens.


Diaghileff

made up

would spare no

effort to

Nijinsky. I do not

his

mind

make

that year that he

a choreographer of

know whether he

really believed

in his choreographic gifts, or whether he thought


that his talented dancing, about

dicated that he

which he raved,

would show equal


[

55

in-

talent as a ballet

STRAVINSKY
master.

However that may

be, his idea

Nijinsky compose, under his

own

strict

was

to

make

supervision,

a sort of antique tableau conjuring up the erotic

At the suggambols of a faun importuning nymphs.


gestion of Bakst,

who was

obsessed

by ancient

Greece, this tableau was to be presented as an ani-

mated

bas-relief,

dominated

with the figures in

profile.

this production. Besides creating

orative setting

Bakst

the dec-

and the beautiful costumes, he in-

spired the choreography even to the slightest

move-

ments. Nothing better could be found for this ballet

than the impressionist music of Debussy, who, however, evinced little enthusiasm for the project. Dia-

by dint of his persistence, wrung


a half-hearted consent from him, and, after repeated
ghileff nevertheless,

and laborious rehearsals, the ballet was

set afoot

and

was produced in Paris in the spring. The scandal


which it produced is a matter of history, but that
scandal was in nowise due to the so-called novelty
of the performance, but to a gesture, too audacious

and too intimate, which Nijinsky made, doubtless


thinking that anything was permissible with an

and perhaps wishing thereby to enhance the effect of the production, I mention this
erotic subject

56

STRAVINSKY
only because

it

was

so

much

this date the aesthetics

discussed at the time.

and the whole

kind of scenic display seem


the least desire to discuss

spirit of this

so stale that I

them

At

have not

further.

Nijinsky had been so busily engaged in mak-

ing his

ing

first

new

attempts as ballet master, and in study-

roles, that

he obviously had had neither

time nor strength to deal with the Sacre du Printemps, the choreography of which had been entrusted to him. Fokine

was occupied with other ballets


Ravel's Daphnis et ChloA and Reynaldo
Hahn's Le Dieu Bleu. The production of the Sacre,

had meanwhile

the score of which I

therefore to be put off

allowed

me

till

to take a rest

finished,

had

the following year. This

and

to

work without haste

on the orchestration.

When

returned to Paris for the Diaghileff

season, I heard,
score of

among

other things, the brilliant

Maurice Ravel's Daphnis

et Chlod,

Ravel

having previously given me some idea of it by playing it to me on the piano. Not only is it one of
Ravel's greatest achievements,
things in French music. If I
in that year, while seated,

57

it is

one of the

finest

am not mistaken, it was

by Debussy's
]

invitation,

STRA V IN SKY
in his box at the Op6ra Comique, that I heard for

the

first

time another great French work, Pelleas et

Melisande.

was seeing a good deal of Debussy, and

was deeply touched by his sympathetic attitude towards me and my music. I was struck by the delicacy of his appreciation, and was grateful to him,

what

other things, for having observed

among

few had then noticed

so

the musical importance of

the pages which precede the juggling tricks in Pe-

troushka immediately before the final dance of the


marionettes in the

me

to his house,

him

at once.

clever,

above

Debussy often invited

and on one occasion

whom

Erik Satie,

first act.

I already

He was

met there

knew by name.

a quick-witted fellow, shrewd,

and mordant. Of his compositions

all his

I liked

prefer

Socrate and certain pages of his Parade.

From Paris I went


summer, and there

as usual to
Oustiloug for the

quietly continued

my

work on

was roused from that peaceful existence


by an invitation from Diaghileff to join him at
the Sacre.

Bayreuth

to

hear Parsifal in

its

hallowed setting.

had never seen Parsifal on the stage. The


proposal
was tempting, and I accepted it with
pleasure. On
the

way

stopped at

Nuremberg
58

for twenty-four

STRAVINSKY
hours and visited the museum. Next day
portly friend
told

me

that

met me

we were

in the open, as
ing.

all

my

dear,

Bayreuth station and

at the

in danger of having to sleep

the hotels were filled to overflow-

We managed,, however, with great difficulty, to


The performance

find two servants' rooms.

that I

saw there would not tempt me today, even if I were


offered a room gratis. The very atmosphere of the
its

theatre,
It

was

one

design and

like a

at that,

in black

its setting,

seemed lugubrious.

crematorium, and a very old-fashioned

and one expected

who had been

to see the

gentleman

entrusted with the task of

singing the praises of the departed.

The order to

vote oneself to contemplation was given

by

de-

a blast

humble and motionless, but at the


end of a quarter of an hour I could bear no more.
My limbs were numb and I had to change my posiof trumpets. I sat

Crack!

tion.

a noise

Now I had

done

it!

which drew down on

of a hundred pairs of eyes.

My chair had made

me

the furious scowls

Once more

withdrew

into myself, but I could think of only one thing,

which would put an end

that was the end of the act


to

my martyrdom.

and

At

last

the intermission arrived,

was rewarded by two sausages and a


[

and

59

glass of

STRA VINSKY
beer. But hardly

when

had

had time

to light

the trumpet blast sounded again,

a cigarette

demanding

another period of contemplation. Another act to be

when

got through;
trated on

all

my cigarette,

my
of

thoughts were concen-

which

had had barely a

managed to bear the second act. Then there


were more sausages, more beer, another trumpet
whiff. I

another period of contemplation, another act

blast,

finis!

I do not

want

or the music of
is

too remote

whole
tated

Wagner

music of Parsifal

At

in general.

from me. What

affair is the

it

to discuss the

I find

this date it

revolting in the

underlying conception which dic-

the principle of
putting a

work of

art

on

the same level as the sacred and


symbolic ritual

which
not

constitutes a religious service.

all this

And, indeed,

comedy of Bayreuth, with

formalities, simply

its

is

ridiculous

an unconscious aping of a

reli-

gious rite?

Perhaps someone

may cite the mysteries

of the

Middles Ages in contravention of this view. But


those performances
faith as their source.

had

religion as their basis

The

spirit of the

did not venture


beyond the

60

and

mystery plays

bosom of the Church


]

STRAVINSKY
which patronized them. They were religious ceremonies bordering on the canonical rites, and such
aesthetic

qualities

as

merely accessory and

they might contain were

iniintentional,

affected their substance.


to the

and in no way

Such ceremonies were due

imperious desire of the faithful to see the ob-

and in palpable form


that which created statues and

jects of their faith incarnate

the same desire as

ikons in the churches.

high time

It is

to this

to

put an end, once and for

all,

unseemly and sacrilegious conception of art

as religion

and the theatre

as a temple.

The

follow-

ing argument will readily show the absurdity of


such pitiful aesthetics: one cannot imagine a believer adopting a critical attitude towards a religious
service.

That would be a contradiction in terms, the

believer

would

an audience
ent

upon

is

cease to be a believer.

The

exactly the opposite. It

faith or blind submission.

ance one admires or one

rejects.

not depend-

is

At

One

attitude of

a perform-

accepts only

after having passed judgment, however little one


may be aware of it. The critical faculty plays an essential part.

thought

is

To confound

these

two

distinct lines of

to give proof of a complete lack of dis-

61

STRAVINSKY
cernment, and certainly of bad

taste.

But

is it at all

should arise at a time


surprising that such confusion
like the present;

when

the openly irreligious masses

in their degradation of spiritual values

ment

of

human thought

and debase-

necessarily lead us to utter

brutalization? People are, however, apparently fully

aware of the

sort of

monster

to

which the world

is

about to give birth, and perceive with annoyance


that

man

effort

is

cannot live without some kind of cult.


therefore

made

to

refurbish

old

An

cults,

where-

dragged from some revolutionary arsenal,


with to enter into competition with the Church.
But

to

return to the Sacre.

To be

perfectly

must say here and now that the idea of


working with Nijinsky filled me with misgiving,
notwithstanding our friendliness and my great adfrank, I

miration for his talent as dancer and mime. His ig-

norance of the most elementary notions of music

The poor boy knew nothing

was

flagrant.

He

could neither read

and

his reactions to

it

of music.

nor play any instrument,

music were expressed in banal

phrases or the repetition of what he had heard others


say.

As one was unable

impressions, one began to

any individual
doubt whether he had any.

to discover

62

STRAVINSKY
These lacunae were

so serious that his plastic vision,

often of great beauty, could not compensate for

them.
but

My apprehensions can be readily understood,


had no choice in the matter. Fokine had

from Diaghileff and in any case, conaesthetic tendencies, he would doubtless

ciated himself

sidering his

disso-

have refused

to

work

at the Sacre$

Romanov was

busy with Florent Schmitt's Salome; only Nrjinsky


remained, and Diaghileff,
ballet

still

hopeful of making a

master of him, insisted that he should put on

both the Sacre and Debussy's Jeux.


Nijinsky began by demanding such a fantastic

number

of rehearsals that

sible to give

understand

them

him.

to

it

was physically impos-

It will

not be

difficult to

why he wanted so many, when I say that

in trying to explain to

work in general

him

outline

the construction of

and in

my

detail I discovered

that I should achieve nothing until I

had taught him

the very rudiments of music: values

semibreve,

etc.

bars, rhythm, tempo,


minim, crochet, quaver,
and so on. He had the greatest difficulty in remem-

bering any of

this.

Nor was

that

all.

When,

tening to music, he contemplated movements,

always necessary

to

in

lis-

it

was

remind him that he must make

63

STRAVINSKY
them accord with the tempo,

its

divisions

and

values.

was an exasperating task, and we advanced at a


snail's pace. It was all the more trying because NiIt

jinsky complicated and encumbered his dances beall

yond

reason, thus creating difficulties for the

dancers that were sometimes impossible to over-

come. This was due as

much to his lack of experience

as to the complexity of a task

with which he was un-

familiar.

Under

him to

his

these conditions I did not

own

feeling for

want

to leave

devices, partly because of

him but

and considerations

partly on account

my kindly
of my work

as to its fate. I therefore traveled

a great deal so as to attend the rehearsals of the com-

pany, which, throughout that winter, took place in

which Diaghileff was giving


performances. The atmosphere was always heavy
and stormy. It was evident that the poor boy had
the different towns in

been saddled with a task beyond his capacity.


He appeared to be quite unconscious both of his
inadequacy and of the fact that he had been given a
r61e which, to

put

it

shortly,

he was incapable of

ing in so serious an undertaking


let.

as the

fill-

Russian Bal-

Seeing that he was losing prestige with the com[

64

STRAVINSKY
pany but was strongly upheld by Diaghileff, he
became presumptuous,, capricious, and unmanage-

The

able.

cidents
It

natural result was a series of painful in-

which

seriously complicated matters.

should not be necessary for

that in writing
cast

We were,

have not the

on the fame of

slur

any

all this I

as I

me

have already

this

to

emphasize

least desire to

magnificent

artist.

always on the best

said,

of terms, and I have never ceased to admire his great

and mime.

talent for dancing

my memory,
who had

and

He

will always live in

hope in the memory of everyone

the good fortune to see

him

dance, as one

of the most beautiful visions that ever appeared on

the stage.

But

now

that this great artist

is,

alas

the vic-

tim of mental malady, his name belongs to history,


and I should be false to history if, in assessing his

worth

as

an

artist, I

perpetuated the confusion which

has arisen between his work as interpreter and as


creator.

From what

have said above

obvious that Diaghileff himself


for that confusion,
detract

from

is

it

should be

mainly responsible

though that does not in any way

my feeling

of deep admiration for

great departed friend. It

is

65

my

true that I refrained at

STRA FINSKY
the time from telling Nijinsky
efforts as a ballet master. I did

to spare his self-respect,,

his mentality

and

what

thought of his

not like to do

knew

had

in advance that

and character would make any such

conversation alike painful and useless.


hand., I

so. I

On

the other

had no hesitation in often talking about

it

to

Diaghileff. He, however, persisted in pushing Nijin-

sky along that path, either because he regarded the


gift of plastic vision as the

choreographic

art,,

most important factor in

or because he kept on hoping that

the qualities which seemed lacking in Nijinsky

would one day or another suddenly manifest themselves.

worked continuously

at Clarens

at the score of the Sacre

throughout the winter of

91

21 915, my

work being interrupted only by interviews with Diaghileff,

who

invited

me to the first performances

UOiseau de Feu and Petroushka in the

of

different

towns of central Europe where the Russian Ballet


was on tour.

My first journey was to Berlin. I very well remember the performance before the Kaiser,
serin,

The program consisted of


and Petroushka, The Kaiser naturally

and their

Cleopdtre

the Kai-

suite.

66

STRAVINSKY
gave preference

to Cleopdtre, and, in

Diaghileff ; told

him

that he

tologists to see the ballet

He

complimenting

would send

and take a

his

lesson

Egypfrom it.

apparently thought that Bakst's fantastic color-

ing was a scrupulously historical reproduction,, and


that the potpourri of the score

ancient Egyptian music.

was a revelation of

At another

when L'Oiseau de Feu was

given, I

quaintance of Richard Strauss,

performance,,

made

the ac-

who came on

to the

and expressed great interest in the music.


Among other things, he said something which much
stage

amused me: "You make a mistake in beginning


your piece pianissimo; the public will not listen. You
should astonish them by a sudden crash at the very
start.

After that they will follow you and you can

do whatever you like."


It

was on that

Schonberg,

who

visit to Berlin that I first

invited

me

to

an audition of

met
his

Pierrot Lunaire. I did not feel the slightest enthu-

siasm about the aesthetics of the work, which ap-

peared to
Beardsley

me to be
cult.

a retrogression to the out-of-date

But, on the other hand, I consider

that the merits of the instrumentation are beyond


dispute.

67

STRAVINSKY
Budapest, the next town

we

very agreeable impression on me.

visited,

Its

made a

inhabitants are

very open-hearted,, warm, and kindly. Everything


went well there, and my ballets, L'Oiseau de Feu

and Petroushka, had an enormous

success.

When

was greatly
moved at being received by the public as an old
friend. It was quite the reverse in Vienna, of which
visited the

I retain a

town many years

somewhat

bitter

later I

memory. The

hostility

with which the orchestra received the music of Petroushka at rehearsals greatly astonished me. I had

not come across anything like

admit that

at that

it

in

any country.

time an orchestra as conservative

Vienna might have failed to grasp parts


music, but I was far from expecting that its

as that in

of

my

would be carried to the length of open saborehearsals and the audible utterance of such

hostility

tage at

coarse remarks as "schmutzige

Musik."

The

en-

tire administration

shared this aversion, which was

aimed particularly

at the Prussian comptroller of the

Hof oper,
and

his

was he who had engaged Diaghilefif


company and thereby roused the furious
for

it

jealousy of the Imperial Ballet of Vienna. I ought to


1

Dirty music.

68

STRAVINSKY
add that Russians were not very popular in Austria
just then by reason of the somewhat strained political situation.

in spite of the old-fashioned

Still,

and habits of the Viennese, the performance


of Petroushka passed without protest, and even had

tastes

a certain success. I was astonished to find a comforter


in the person of a

and

workman whose job

raise the curtain. Seeing that I

it

was

lower

to

was upset by

trouble with the orchestra, this friendly old

man, be-

whiskered in the style of Franz Joseph, patted


shoulder kindly and said: "Don't

let's

first

it's

time that things of that sort have hap-

pened. It was just the same with Tristan."

have something more


for the

my

be down-

hearted. I've been here for fifty-five years, and

not the

my

moment let us

to

I shall

say about Vienna later, but

return to Clarens.

While putting the

finishing touches to the or-

chestration of the Sacre, I

was busy with another

composition which was very close to

my heart.

In the

summer I had read a little anthology of Japanese lyrics

short

poems of

few

lines each, selected

from

The impression which they made on


me was exactly like that made by Japanese paintings
the old poets.

and engravings. The graphic solution of problems of


[

69

STRA VINSKJ
perspective
to

and space shown by their art incited

find something analogous in music.

could have lent

itself better to this

version of the Japanese poems,

known fact that Russian verse


only. I gave myself

up

me

Nothing

than the Russian

owing

to the well-

allows the tonic accent

to the task,

and succeeded by

a metrical and rhythmic process too complex to be


explained here.

me

Towards the end of the winter, Diaghileff gave


another commission. He had decided to give

Moussorgsky's Khovanstchina in the next Paris season. This opera, as

everybody knows, had not been

by the composer, and Diaghileff asked


it in hand.
Rimsky-Korsakov had already

quite finished

me to take

arranged it in his
sion that

it

own manner, and it was in his ver-

had been published and performed in

Russia.

Diaghileff

was not

satisfied

with Rimsky-Kor-

sakov's general treatment of


Moussorgsky's

and began

to

study the original manuscript of

vanstchina with a view to

asked

me

parts as
to

to

work,

Kho-

making a new version. He

undertake the orchestration of such

had not been orchestrated by the

compose a chorus for the


[

70

finale, for

author, and

which Mous-

STRAVINSKY
sorgsky had indicated only the theme

an authentic

Russian song.

When
and

still

saw how much there was

having

to

be done,

to finish the score of the Sacre, I

asked Diaghileff to divide the work between myself

He willingly consented to this, and Ravel


me at Clarens so that we might work to-

and Ravel.
joined
gether.

We

agreed that I should orchestrate two

parts of the opera

and write the

he undertook the

rest.

work was

while

final chorus,

According

to

Diaghileff' s

be amalgamated with the rest


of the score, but unfortunately it made the mixture

plan, our

to

even more incongruously heterogeneous than Rimsky-Korsakov's version, which had been retained in
all essentials,

the only difference being a

change in the order of certain


tution of

my

scenes,

few

and the

cuts,

substi-

chorus for his. Apart from the

work

had no share in the arrangement


have always been sincerely opposed

mentioned above,
of this version. I

rearrangement by anyone other than the author himself of work already created, and my oppo-

to the

sition is
is

an

only strengthened

artist as conscious

doing as Moussorgsky.
[

when the

original author

and certain of what he was

To my mind that principle


71

is

STRA VINSKY
as it
badly violated in the Diaghileff compilation
was in Rimsky-Korsakov's Meyerbeerization of Boris
as

Godounov.

While Ravel was


Japanese poems.

An

at Clarens I

played

him

my

epicure and connoisseur of in-

strumental jewelry, and quick to discern the subtle-

he grasped the idea at once and dedo something similar. Soon afterwards he

ties of writing,

cided to

me his delicious Poemes de Mallarmd.


I have now come to the spring season of 1915

played

in Paris,

when

the Russian Ballet inaugurated the

opening of the Theatre des Champs-filys^es. It began with a revival of UOiseau de Feu, and the Sacre

du Printemps was given on

May

28

at the

evening

The complexity of my score had demanded a great number of rehearsals, which Monperformance.

teux had conducted with his usual


tion.

As

skill

for the actual performance, I

and atten-

am

not in a

position to judge, as I left the auditorium at the first

bars of the prelude,


sive laughter. I

was

which had

at once

evoked deri-

disgusted. These demonstrations,

became general, provoking


counter-demonstrations and very quickly developat first isolated, soon

ing into a

terrific

uproar.

72

During the whole per]

STRAVINSKY
formance

was

was standing on a

chair,

screaming "sixteen,

seveft-

own method

they had their

eighteen"

teen,

He

at Nijinsky's side in the wings.

of

counting to keep time. Naturally the poor dancers


could hear nothing by reason of the row in the audi-

torium and the sound of their own dance


to

steps. I

had

hold Nijinsky by his clothes, for he was furious,

and ready to dash on

to the stage at

any moment and

create a scandal. Diaghileff kept ordering the electricians to turn the lights

put a stop

to

way

remember about
enough,

on or

to the noise.

that

first

number

Oddly
which we had, as

performance.

at the dress rehearsal, to

usual, invited a

hoping in that
That is all I can

off,

of actors, painters, musi-

and the most cultured representatives


everything had gone off peacefully, and

cians, writers,

of society,
I

was very far from expecting such an outburst.


Now, after the lapse of more than twenty years,

it is

difficult

naturally

for

me

to recall in

any

detail

the choreography of the Sacre without being influ-

enced by the admiration with which

known
come

as the

as a

ever so

avant-garde

new

little,

it

met in the

set

ready, as always, to wel-

discovery anything that differs, be

from the deja vu. But what struck


[

75

it

me

STRAVINSKY
then, and

still

raphy, was and

strikes
is

me

most, about the choreog-

of
Nijinsky's lack of consciousness

what he was doing in creating it. He showed therein


his complete inability to accept and assimilate those
revolutionary ideas which Diaghileff
creed,

had made

and obstinately and industriously strove

culcate.

What

the choreography expressed

his

to in-

was a

a plastic
very labored and barren effort rather than

and naturally from what

realization flowing simply

the music demanded.

had

How far it all was from what I

desired!

In composing the Sacre I had imagined the


spectacular part of the

performance

as a series of

rhythmic mass movements of the greatest simplicity


which would have an instantaneous effect on the audience, with

no superfluous

such as would suggest

be the

sacrificial

details or complications

effort.

The only

solo

was

to

dance at the end of the piece. The

music of that dance, clear and well defined, de-

manded

a corresponding choreography

simple and

easy to understand. But there again, although he

had grasped the dramatic

significance of the dance,

Nijinsky was incapable of giving intelligible form


to its essence,

and complicated it either by clumsiness


[

74

STRAVINSKY
or lack of
understanding.

clumsy

to slow

down

For

it

is

undeniably

the tempo of the music in or-

der to compose complicated steps which cannot be

danced in the tempo prescribed.

Many

choreogra-

phers have that f ault, but I have never

known any

who

erred in that respect to the same


degree as Ni-

jinsky.

In reading what

have written about the Sacre,

the reader will perhaps be astonished to notice


little I

how

have said about the music. The omission

deliberate. It

is

years, to recall

is

impossible, after the lapse of twenty

what were the

feelings

which ani-

mated me in composing it. One can recollect facts or


incidents with more or less exactitude but one can;

not reconstitute feelings without the risk of distort-

ing them under the influence of the

many

changes

meanwhile undergone. Any account I


were to give today of what my feelings were at that
time might prove as inexact and arbitrary as if
that one has

someone

were interpreting them. It would be


something like an interview with me unwarrantably
signed with my name
something which has alas
else

happened only too

One such

often.

incident comes to

75

my

mind

in con-

STRAVINSKY
nection with this very production.

Among

the most

had been a cer-

assiduous onlookers at the rehearsals

charming man, devoted to


to date. He was at that
everything advanced and up
a review called Montjoie. When he
time

tain Ricciotto Canuedo, a

publishing

me

asked
it.

for an interview, I very willingly granted

Unfortunately.,

it

appeared in the form of a pro-

nouncement on the Sacre,


naive, and,, to

my

name.

much

my

and even of

my

and

with
great astonishment, signed
not recognize myself, and was

I could

disturbed

at once grandiloquent

by

this distortion of

my

ideas, especially as the

language

pronounce-

ment was generally regarded as authentic, and the


scandal over the Sacre had noticeably increased the
sale of the review.

But

was

too

ill

at the

time to be

able to set things right.


I did

not see the subsequent performances of

the Sacre, nor could I go to see Khovanstchina be-

cause a few days after the notorious


ill

with typhoid and spent

six

first

night I

fell

weeks in a nursing

home.

As
ing seen

for Debussy's Jeux, I clearly


it,

but

remember hav-

cannot be sure whether at the dress

rehearsal or on the first night. I very

76

much liked the

STRAVINSKY
music, which Debussy had already played to
the piano.

How well

that

man

played!

me

on

The anima-

and vivacity of the score merited a warmer reception than it got from the public. My mind is a

tion

complete blank with regard to

its

choreography.

During the long weeks of my illness, I was the


subject of the most lively and touching solicitude on
the part of

my

friends. Debussy,

Florent Schmitt, and Casella

all

De

came

Falla, Ravel,
to see

me

fre-

quently. Diaghileff called nearly every day, though

he never came into

my room,

of contagion. This fear

by

his

to

which

me

was

him about

it.

Maurice De-

was greatly attracted


and I much appreciated

constantly. I

buoyant disposition,
the delicacy and penetration of his musical

number

his fear

was almost pathological, and

his friends often chaffed

lage was with

so great

his compositions

bear witness.

alas!

He was

far too

feeling,

few in

also gifted in

many

other ways, so that he was very good company.

On

returning to Oustiloug after

my

illness, I

did not feel strong enough to undertake any important work, but, so that I should not be completely
idle,

amused myself with the composition

of several

small things. I recall writing during the

77

summer

STRA VINSKY
three short pieces for voice and piano, called Sou-

mon

venirs de
children.

Enfance, which

They were melodies

and had taken

as

them a

my leisure to

my

had invented

themes for improvisation to amuse

definite

do

dedicated to

that I

my companions in earlier years.


to give

so.

another version of

had always meant

form ; and took advantage of

Some years ago (1923) I made


them for a small orchestral en-

semble ; amplifying them here and there in accordance with the orchestral requirements.

Hardly had I got back to Clarens, with the intention of spending the winter there as
usual,

received

when

from the newly founded Th&tre Libre of

Moscow a request to complete the composition of my


opera, Le RossignoL I hesitated. Only the Prologue
that

is to

say,

Act I

was in

written four years earlier, and

existence. It

my musical language

had been appreciably modified


that in view of
scenes

would

my new

had been

since then. I feared

manner

the subsequent

clash with that

Prologue. I informed
the directors of the Theatre Libre of
my misgivings,
and suggested that they should be content with the

Prologue alone, presenting


[

78

it

as

an independent little

STRAVINSKY
But they

lyrical scene.

in three acts, and ended

As

there

myself that

is

upon the

insisted

entire opera

by persuading me.

no action until the second

act, I told

would not be unreasonable

it

the

if

music of the Prologue bore a somewhat different


character
forest,

child
tle

from that of the

with

who

its

falls

nightingale, the pure soul of the

in love with

song ...

its

all this

gen-

poetry of Hans Andersen's could not be expressed

in the same

as the

way

nese Court, with


its

And, indeed, the

rest.

its

baroque luxury of the Chi-

bizarre etiquette,

its

palace fetes,

thousands of little bells and lanterns, and the gro-

tesque

humming

of the mechanical Japanese night-

ingale ... in short,

demanded

all this exotic

fantasy obviously

a different musical idiom.

work, and

I set to

even before

it

took

had finished the

me

all

the winter, but

score the

news reached

me that the whole enterprise of the Theatre Libre of


Moscow had

of
collapsed. I could, therefore, dispose

the opera as I liked, and Diaghileff,

chagrined to see

jumped

me working

at the chance,

who had been

for another theatre,

and decided

to

put

next season at the Paris Opera House.

79

It

it

on in his

was

all

the

STRA VINSKY
more easy

for

him because he was

sky-Korsakov's

Le Coq

had the necessary

to

produce Rim-

d'Or, and therefore already

created
singers. Benois

sumptuous

Monteux 7
scenery and costumes, and, conducted by
the opera was performed with the utmost perfection.
I

must go back a

little to

me

great importance to

mention something of

that happened before the

Paris opera season. I think that

it

was in the month

of April ; 1914, that both the Sacre and Petroushka

were played for the

Monteux being

first

time at a concert in Paris,

the conductor. It was a brilliant re-

nascence of the Sacre after the Theatre des Champsfilys^es scandal.

The

hall

was crowded. The audi-

ence, with no scenery to distract them, listened with

concentrated attention and applauded with an en-

had been far from expecting and which


greatly moved me. Certain critics who had censured
thusiasm

the Sacre the year before

now

openly admitted

their mistake. This conquest of the public naturally

gave

me

intense

About

this

and

lasting satisfaction.

time

made

the acquaintance of

Ernest Ansermet, conductor of the orchestra at

Montreux, who lived

at Clarens, quite close to

friendship quickly sprang

80

up between
]

us,

me.

and

STRAVINSKY
remember that it was

one of his rehearsals that he

at

suggested that I should take the baton and read

symphony, which he had included in

first

gram, with the orchestra. That was

my

his pro-

my first attempt

at conducting.

On my

return from Paris I settled in the

mountains with
I soon

my family

had to run over

to

at Salvan (Valais)

London

to

But

be present at the

performance of Le Rossignol, which Diaghileff was


producing this time, with fimile Cooper as conductor.

Back again

at Salvan, I

for string quartet

going

to

make

Meanwhile

which

composed three pieces

had time

to finish before

a short stay at Oustiloug and at Kiev.

had been thinking of a grand diver-

tissement, or rather a cantata depicting peasant

Among

tials.

in Kiev I found

many

made

from them which

me

nup-

the collections of Russian folk

a selection

bearing on this
I

poems
subject, and

took back with

to Switzerland.

On my way from
and

was very conscious of the tense atmosover central Europe, and I felt certain

Basle, I

phere
that

Russia via Warsaw, Berlin,

all

we were on

the eve of serious events.

81

fort-

STRAVINSKY
night later war was declared. As

empted from military

was no need for

me to return to
ling of

it ? I

service, there

had been ex-

Russia, which, though I

was never

to see

had no ink-

again as I had

known it.

/VAW/VVVVVVVVI/VVVVUXVVtrVVVVVVVVVVVX

MY PROFOUND emotion on reading the news of war,


which roused

patriotic feelings

ness at being so distant

some

from

alleviation in the delight

and a sense of sad-

my

country, found

with which

steeped

myself in Russian folk poems.

What fascinated me in this verse was


much the stories,, which were often crude,
pictures

and metaphors, always

not so
or the

so deliciously

pected, as the sequence of the words

and

unex-

syllables,

and the cadence they create, which produces an


effect on one's sensibilities very closely akin to that
of music. For I consider that music

is,

ture, essentially powerless to express

by its very na-

anything at

all,

an attitude of mind, a psychologExical mood, a phenomenon of nature, etc.


pression has never been an inherent property of

whether a

feeling,

music. That
ence. If, as

is

is

by no means the purpose

of

its exist-

nearly always the case, music appears


[

85

STRAVINSKY
to express something, this is

a reality. It

by

tacit

thrust

only an illusion and not

simply an additional attribute which,

is

and inveterate agreement, we have lent

upon

it,

convention

as a label, a

or
aspect which, unconsciously

have come

Music is the
the present.
is

doomed

with

to confuse

By

to

sole

its

by

force of habit,

domain in which man

categories of past

to

the passage of time

realizes

man
to its

without ever being

and future

able to give substance,

we

essential being.

the imperfection of his nature,

submit

it,

in short, an

and therefore

the

stability, to

category of the present.

The phenomenon

of music

is

given to us with

the sole purpose of establishing an order in things,


including, and particularly, the coordination be-

tween

man and time. To be put into

dispensable and single requirement

practice, its inis

construction.

Construction once completed, this order has been attained,

and there

would be

from

it.

order,

futile to look for, or expect

to

be

said.

anything

It is precisely this construction, this

It

else

achieved

which produces in us a unique emotion hav-

ing nothing in
tions

nothing more

is

common with

and our responses


C

our ordinary sensa-

to the impressions of daily

84

STRAVINSKY
life.

One could not

better define the sensation


pro-

duced by music than by saying that it is identical


with that evoked by contemplation of the
interplay

of architectural forms. Goethe


thoroughly under-

stood that

when he

called

architecture petrified

music.

After this digression, which

my

shall

reflections

have occasion

to the

to

wise to

but which far from ex-

interpolate at this point

hausts

I felt it

on the

subject, into

go more deeply

which

come back

Russian folk poems. I culled a bouquet from

among them

all,

which

I distributed in three dif-

ferent compositions that I wrote one after the other,

elaborating

my material

Pribaoutki

(translated

Chansons Plaisantes)

for Les Noces.

They were

by Ramuz under the

title

for voice, with the accompa-

niment of a small orchestra then Les Berceuses du


;

Chat, also for voice, accompanied


and, lastly, four

little

by three clarinets
choruses for women's voices
5

capella.

In the autumn I returned to Clarens, where

Ansermet

me

the

little

who had moved to Lausanne


house that he had just

left,

sublet to

and there

passed the winter of 1914-1915. I was working at


[

85

STRAVINSKY
Les Noces the whole time. Confined to Switzerland
after the declaration of war, I

the chief of

circle of friends,

Ramuz,

formed there a

whom were

little

C. F.

the painter R. Auberjonois, the brothers

Alexandre and Charles Albert Cingria, Ernest

and
sermet, the brothers Jean

An-

Ren6 Mora, Fernant

Chavennes, and Henri Bischoff.

Our removal

to the

Vaud, where

I lived for

began an important period, to which my


devoted a book, Souvenirs
great friend Ramiiz has
sur Igor Stravinsky. This volume, to which I refer
six years,

those interested in that part of

my

life, testifies to

our deep affection for each other, to those feelings

which each

of us

attachment that

found echoed in the other, to the

we

both had for his dear

Vaud

country that had brought us together, and to his


deep and understanding sympathy.

Hardly had I

settled at Clarens

when I received

from Diaghileff to pay him a visit


at Florence. He, like myself, was
going through a
very difficult time. The war had upset all his plans.
a pressing appeal

The
it

company had dispersed, and


him to arrange regroupings to

greater part of his

was necessary for

enable

him

to

carry on and support himself. In that


[

86

STRAVINSKY
painful situation he felt the need for having a friend
at

hand

help

to console

him with

him, to encourage him, and

to

advice.

My own situation was no better. I had to make


all

the arrangements for

Russia

my mother's safe return to

she had spent the

for supplying the needs of

summer with

my

us

and

wife and four chil-

dren j and, with the slender resources which one


could get from Russia, the maintenance of the family

became more and more


Nevertheless, I

anxious as

went

my friend to

difficult.

to Florence, for I

was

as

share the gloomy thoughts

which obsessed us both. After spending a fortnight


there, I returned to Clarens. But in the course of the
winter,

my

wife's health,

which had been greatly

by her recent confinement, decided me to get


her into mountain air, and, after closing our house
tried

at Clarens,

we betook

ourselves to Chateau d'Oex for

about two months.

My stay there was broken by another journey


Rome, which I undertook in response to a new
appeal from Diaghileff. It was just at the time of

to

the terrible earthquake at Avezzano, the repercussions of

which we

felt

even at Chateau d'Oex. In

87

STRAVINSKY
was a

these circumstances I

my

thought of leaving

little

family

perturbed at the

to

go into

Italy,

where everyone was still overshadowed by the catasshocks. All the


trophe, and apprehensive of further
same, I decided to

make

the journey.

had taken a furnished apartment in


the winter, and I joined him there. In my

Diaghileff

Rome for
luggage

had three

(with easy second part)


dedicating them

pieces for piano duets

little

which

had

just

respectively as follows

composed,
the

and the

to Alfredo Casella; the Valse to Erik Satie;

Polka to Diaghileff. I got


part of these pieces,
I told

him

to play the

second

and when we reached the Polka

him that in composing it I had thought

as a circus

March

of

him

ringmaster in evening dress and top hat,

cracking his whip and urging on a rider.

He was

discountenanced, not quite

ought
it

to be offended,

together in the end.


Diaghileff

sive circle in
I

knowing whether he
but we had a good laugh over

made

was just then the center of an exten-

Rome. Among the new acquaintances

may mention

became Lord Berners.

Gerald Tyrwhitt,

who

later

A great lover of art and a cul-

tured musician, he became in succession a


composer
[

88

STRAVINSKY
and a painter. Diaghileff later commissioned him to
write the music of the ballet The Triumph of Nep-

which was a great

tune,

success. I

joyed his company, his English

much

very

humor

en-

his kindness,

and his charming hospitality. I also saw Prokofiev,


whom Diaghileff had summoned from Russia to discuss the composition of a ballet he had commissioned.

had already met Prokofiev in Russia, but during


this stay I had an opportunity to enter into closer

relationship with this remarkable musician,

worth

is

whose

now universally recognized.

Having spent

a fortnight in Italy discussing

various projects with Diaghileff, I climbed back

again to the snows of my Chateau d'Oex.

and

were quartered in a

which

it

was im-

was anxious, therefore,


a piano in some place where I could work in

possible for
to find

me to

hotel, in

My family

compose.

peace. I have never been able to compose unless sure

that
I

no one could hear me.

A music dealer of whom

made my first inquiries provided me with

a sort of

lumber room, full of empty Chocolat Suchard packing cases, which opened on to a chicken run. It contained a
tune.

little

The

upright piano, quite

cold in this room,

89

new and

out of

which was devoid of


]

STRA FINSKY
any heating apparatus, was so acute that the piano
it. For two
days I tried to
strings had succumbed to

work there in overcoat fur


;

a rug over

But

my knees.

cap,

and snowboots, with

could not go on like that.

Finally I found in the village a spacious


fortable

room

in a house belonging to lower middle-

who were

class folk

stalled there ;

and com-

and

out

day. I

all

had a piano in-

at last could devote

myself

to

my

work. I was busy at the time with two compositions

Les Noces and the

first

came the Renard

suite.

sketches of a piece

The Russian

tinued to entice me, and


far

its

like

vocal pieces already mentioned,


these folk poems,

and

many pages

composed on the original

good progress, and


fied

folklore con-

were

texts.

Les Noces and the

had

its

of this

origin in

music were

The work made

returned to Clarens well

satis-

with having brought Les Noces to the


point

which

had wanted

Once

there, I

my

reach before the spring.

to

had

some place in which


with

which be-

inspirational ideas

from exhausted. Renard,

at

once to

set

about finding

could definitely settle myself

family. I searched the neighborhood of

Lausanne, and

my

choice fell

90

upon Morges, a
]

little

STRAVINSKY
town on the banks of the Lake
I

my life.

passed five years of

About the same time


1915

Diaghileff

and, to

my delight,

came

is,

in the spring of

me

in Switzerland,

that

to see

established himself near

He

stayed until the winter.


erty at Ouchy,

of Geneva, and there

and

me and

took Bellerive, a prop-

hoped and expected that we

should often see one another. Unfortunately, however,

my younger daughter fell ill with measles soon

after his arrival,

and

this

prevented

ing him for several weeks, because,


explained, his fear of contagion

Ouchy, he was surrounded by a

me from

as I

was

little

visit-

have already

notorious.

At

group, includ-

ing the dancer Massine, the painters Larionov,

Mme

Goncharova, and Bakst, who often came over from

Geneva the famous old dancing master Cecchetti,


who was working with Massine; Ansermet, whom
5

Diaghileff had selected as conductor of the orchestra,

and a

little

troupe of

artists

he had managed

to

Everybody was getting ready for the approaching season in the United States, for which
collect.

Diaghileff was then negotiating.

When

all

danger of contagion had


[

91

at

length

STRAVINSKY
though not without misgiving,
door to me. Then, to recompense

vanished,, Diaghileff,
at last

him

opened his

for the long delay, I played

tableaux of Les Noces.

enthusiasm seemed so
I

He was

him

the

first

two

moved, and his


genuine and touching, that
so

work

could not but dedicate the

to

him.

Diaghileff had decided that before starting for

America he would give a grand gala performance


in the Paris Opera House for the benefit of the Red
Cross.

clude

Among

my

other ballets, the

Oiseau de

graphic creation,

program was

Feu and Massine's

Le

Soleil

first

to in-

choreo-

de Minuit, founded on

from Rimsky-Korsakov's opera, Snegourotchka. Diaghileff had also been asked to


give a perselections

formance for the Red Cross at


Geneva, and he
decided to
of his

make the

new

ballet,

occasion a sort of dress rehearsal

before going to Paris.

ized a festival of music

and dance

He

at the

organ-

Geneva

Theatre, and Fflia Litvinne lent her aid and opened


the matinee by
singing the Russian National An-

them. I was
selections

to conduct, for

from

the

U Oiseau de

first

Feu

time in public,

in the

form

of a

symphonic suite, and the program included Carnaval


and Soleil de Minuit conducted
by Ernest Ansermet.
[

92

STRAVINSKY
The

were given in costume, but against a

ballets

black backcloth, the scenery being then in Paris.


It

was Ansermet's debut,

Russian

too, as conductor of the

Ballet.

The grand

gala in Paris took place soon after-

went from Geneva with Diaghileff and


the whole company. Paris was gloomy in those siniswards, and

ter days of

my first visit since the declaration of war.

But, in spite of that, the

Red

Cross grand gala was

a triumphant success. It netted four hundred thou-

sand gold francs, making a record. My debut before


the Paris public as conductor of my Oiseau made the
event of importance to me.
Diaghileff was busy preparing for the trip to

company. As the Metropolitan


Opera House, which had made the contract with
him for the New York season, wanted to see me con-

America with

duct

his

my works, he begged me to

would not

go with him, but I

risk sailing in the absence of

engagement by the Metropolitan.


leff 's first trip to

nate fear of the

America, and, having an inordi-

sea,

he was deeply moved in taking

leave of me. I myself

cause of the

It

any definite
was Diaghi-

was perturbed about him, be-

war and the submarine danger.


C

93

STRAVINSKY
Before returning to Morges, I stayed a

days more in Paris to see some of

Edmond

bly Princess

me much

showed

war was

who always

among

other things,

drawing-room presentation which


put on at her house as soon as the

said, I

d'Oex. She was

work on
I

discuss,

over. I suggested

have already

set to

de Polignac,

had

it

much
as

Renard

to her,

had sketched out

which, as

at

Chateau

pleased with the idea, and I

soon as I got back to Merges.

a visit shortly afterwards

from Nijinsky

whom I had not met before. They had

and

his wife,

just

been released from their internment in

gary, where the

New

Hun-

war had caught them, and were in

Switzerland on their
in

nota-

piece for

little

she proposed to

friends,,

kindness. She took advantage of

my presence in Paris to
a

my

few

way

to join the

Russian Ballet

York. Diaghileff had been working a


long

time for their liberation, and

it

had

at last

achieved, in spite of innumerable difficulties

been

which

had been overcome only by the energy and extraordinary persistence of

my late friend.

Greatly upset at having no news from


ica,

the

war having landed

grave pecuniary

difficulties,

94

me
I

Amer-

in a situation of

asked Nijinsky, on

STRAVINSKY
reaching

being

New

make

on

insist

definitely settled. I

need, and in

sky to

York, to

was

at that

my ingenuousness
his

own

ances depend upon

my

engagement

time in great

even begged Nijin-

participation in the perform-

my engagement. Needless to

whatever course was taken, nothing came of

say,

he was much

for Diaghileff, I learned later that

As

it.

dis-

tressed at being unable to get the Metropolitan to

engage me, as he had confidently counted upon


and it was no less important to him than to me.

it,

So I stayed quietly at Morges, working at

Renard, for which I had temporarily

Les

set aside

Noces. There was at that time in Geneva a

little res-

taurant with a small orchestra of string instruments,

including a cymbalon, on which Aladar Racz excelled.

He is a Hungarian,

ognized as a virtuoso.

and has since become rec-

was captivated by the

strument, which delighted

and by the player's

me by

its rich, full

direct contact

in-

tone

with the strings

through the little sticks held between his fingers,


and even by its trapezoid shape. I wanted to get one,
and begged Racz to help me by making my wish

known among his


he did

tell

associates in

Geneva, and, in

me of an old Hungarian who


[

95

sold

fact,

me

one

STRAVINSKY
of these instruments. I carried
glee,

and very soon learned to play

to

it

Morges in

well enough

compose a part for cymbalon which


introduced into the little orchestra of Renard.

to enable
I

it off

me

to

Ramuz

saw a great deal of

at this time, as

we

were working together at the French translation of


the Russian text of

Chat and Renard.

I initiated

subtle shades of the

ties

and

the

difficulties

du

Pribaoutki, Berceuses

my

him into

the peculiari-

Russian language, and


tonic accent. I

was

astonished at his insight, his intuitive ability,

and

presented

by

its

his gift for transferring the spirit

and poesy of the

Russian folk poems to a language so remote and different as French.


I

tion

was very much wrapped up in

which cemented

still

this collabora-

more firmly the bonds

of

our friendship and affinity of mind.


I

awaited Diaghileff s return from America

with impatience and excitement.


in

March

of his arrival in Spain,

train to join him.

He

told

me

He

sent

and I

at

me word
once took

of the terrible fears

which he had experienced in crossing by an Italian


ship, laden with munitions of war, which had constantly

had

to

change
[

its

course

96

by reason of warn-

STRAVINSKY
ings of submarines.

alarm, and I

still

They even had a rehearsal

of an

photograph which Dia-

possess a

me in which he is wearing his lifesaving

ghileff gave

apparatus.
It

was

by much

my first visit to

that I

saw

Spain, and I

directly I crossed the frontier.

was the change in railway

First there

was struck

actly as in Russia.

gauge,, ex-

expected to find different

weights and measures but, not at


5

all!

Although the

railways were different, the metric system prevailed

At the very
boundary the smell of frying in oil became perceptible. When I reached Madrid at nine o'clock in the
as in the greater part of the globe.

morning I found the whole town still fast asleep,


and I was received at my hotel by the night watchman with lantern in hand. Yet it was spring. The
people rose

late,

and

life

was in

full

midnight. At a fixed hour every day I

my

room

swing after
heard from

the distant sound of a banda playing a

passadoble, and military exercises always apparently

ended with that


teristics of

sort of music. All the little charac-

the Spaniards' daily life pleased

mensely, and
great gusto.

me

im-

experienced and savored them with

They

struck

97

me
]

as

marking a vivid

STRAVINSKY
of the impressions genchange from the monotony
received in passing from one European counerally

of Europe differ far


try to another, for the countries
less

among themselves than

from

this

them together do
our continent, where

all

land on the edge of

already one

is

of

in touch with Africa.

"I have been waiting for you like a brother/'

were Diaghileff 's first words. And, indeed, I felt all


the pleasure he was experiencing in seeing me again,

upon whose feelings he could rely


he could let himself go after his

for I was a friend

and with

whom

new

long loneliness. Diaghileff and the


ances I

made in Madrid made

agreeable. I treasure

more because

it

my

stay there very

recollections of it all the

was then that

de Errazuris, a Chilean lady

most

my

acquaint-

met

Mme

who had

Eugenia

preserved al-

marks of great beauty and perfect disThe sympathy she showed at our first en-

intact

tinction.

counter, and

which

friendship, touched

later developed into


unfailing

me

deeply, and I enjoyed her

and unrivaled understanding of an art which


was not that of her generation.
subtle

While
ducing his

was in Madrid, Diaghileff was proballets at the Royal


Theatre, where
I

98

STRAVINSKY
L'Oiseau de Feu and Petroushka were among those
given, and where I had the honor of being presented

King and the two Queens.


I must record the tremendous impression made
on me by Toledo and the Escorial. My two short ex-

to the

them showed me

cursions to

a Spain for

should have searched in vain in historic

My

which

treatises.

glimpses of these two places evoked in

sions not so

much

me

vi-

of the horrors of the Inquisition

or the cruelties of the days of tyranny as a revelation of the profoundly religious

temperament of the

people and the mystic fervor of their Catholicism.;


so closely akin in its essentials to the religious feel-

ing and

spirit of Russia. I specially noticed the dif-

ference which exists between the Catholicism of

Spain and that of Rome, which impresses


servers
I

by

found a

the impassive grandeur of

its

all

ob-

authority.

logical explanation of that difference in

the consideration that the Catholicism of

Rome,

as

the metropolis and center of Western Christianity,

must necessarily wear a more austere and immutable aspect than the Catholicism of the outlying countries.

Do

not be astonished

99

if I

say nothing about

STRAVINSKY
Spanish folk music. I do not dispute
character, but for

me

its

distinctive

was no revelation in

there

That, however, did not prevent

me from

it.

frequent-

ing taverns to spend whole evenings in listening to


the endless preliminary chords of guitar playing

and

to a deep-voiced singer

trolling forth her long

with unending breath

Arab ballad with a wealth of

fioriture.

Throughout the whole summer and autumn I


was busied in finishing the music of Renard and in
adapting Ramuz's French translation to the notation.

At the same time

wrote some

little

pieces for

piano duets, with an easy right hand, for amateurs


little

practiced in the use of the instrument, the

whole burden of the composition being concentrated in the left-hand part. I enjoyed
solving this
little

problem, which served as a pendant to the

Trois Pieces Faciles (March, Polka, and Valse) al-

ready mentioned, in which


opposite,

making the

left

had done exactly the


hand easy. These little
I

compositions I called Cinq Pieces Faciles (Andante,

Napolitana, Espagnola, Balalaika, Galop)

I subse-

quently orchestrated them and the three earlier ones,


and, after some years' interval, they appeared in
C

100

STRAVINSKY
the

form of two

suites,

and they are often found in

for a small orchestra,

symphony

each containing four


pieces,

concert programs.

They

are sometimes

played separately, but I prefer to conduct the two in


sequence, as they are designed to complement one
another. In the same period I
composed also the four

choruses for women's voices a capella of which I

spoke in connection with Russian folk poetry, and


likewise three

which

little

songs for children

later date;

Tilim-Bum,

slightly amplified at a

Chanson de VOurs, and a Berceuse for my

my own words.

daughter, with

little

and

orchestrated

All these vocal

have been translated into French by Ramuz,


but the two last have not been published.
pieces

Some

of

my

friends at that time offered to

bear the cost of publishing several of


tions. I

gave the

work

to

my

composi-

Henn, the Geneva concert

agent, and Renard, Pribaoutki, Berceuses

du Chat,

and the two groups of easy pieces for duets thus

made
The

their appearance in the winter of

attention

which

had

to give to

91

61 917.

the publication

of this music, the selection of paper, style of


printing, pagination, cover,

time, but also gave

me
[

and
no

so forth, took

little

101

enjoyment.

no

little

STRAVINSKY
Just before Christinas I

thing

was doing. I suffered

had to interrupt everyexcruciating pain from

a severe attack of intercostal neuralgia, and there

were moments when

could scarcely breathe. Dr.

Demieville, a professor at Lausanne, pulled

through^ and at the

New Year I began to

me

live again,

but the convalescence was a long one.

My legs were

almost paralyzed as the result of

illness,

move without

could not

now

at the

my

assistance. I

thought of what

had

and

shudder even

to endure.

Before I had fully recovered, Diaghileff , hav-

ing heard that I was

came

ill,

to see

me. In the

course of our talks, he proposed that he should


put

on Le Rossignol in

ballet

done with Le Coq d'Or.


proposition. I

form, as he had already

I rejoined

with a counter-

had been thinking of making a sym-

phonic poem for the orchestra by combining the


music of the second and third acts of Le
Rossignol,
which were homogeneous, and I told
Diaghileff that
I

would place that

a ballet of

and

it.

at his disposal if

he cared

He warmly welcomed

I adapted a scenario

to

make

the suggestion,

from Andersen's fairy

story to serve the purpose. I at once set myself to

the arrangement of this


poem, without altogether
[

102

STRAVINSKY
setting aside Les Noces,

which

had taken up again

with the expectation of finishing


Diaghileff

had gone

to

very soon.

it

Rome, where he was

have a Russian Ballet season, and begged


him to conduct L'Oiseau de Feu and Feu
for the latter of

me to

to

join

d*Artifice,

which he had commissioned the

Italian futurist, Balla, to prepare a special dcor with

lighting effects.

When

reached

Rome

March

in

found in the apartment Diaghileff had rented quite


a large assembly gathered round his lavishly hospitable table.

whom

There were Ansermet, Bakst,

then met for the

first

Picasso,

time, Cocteau, Balla,

Lord Berners, Massine, and many

others.

The

sea-

son at the Costanzi Theatre opened with a gala per-

formance for the Italian Red Cross,


ducted L'Oiseau de Feu and

at

which

I con-

Feu d Artifice with the

Balla setting.

The February Revolution had

just taken place

in Russia, the Tsar had abdicated, and a Provisional

Government was in power. In normal times a Russian gala performance would have begun with the
National Anthem, but at that date nothing could

have been more inept than


Tsar. It

was necessary
[

to find

103

to sing

some
]

God Save

the

substitute for

it,

STRA 7INSKY
and the idea of opening the performance with
Russian folk song suggested

who

to

Diaghileff,

chose the famous Volga Boat Song. But the or-

chestra

would have
it

strumentation;

besought
so I

itself

me

had

to

play

and there was no in-

it,

had not been

to get

on with

to sacrifice

it

scored. Diaghileff

as quickly as possible,

myself, and throughout the

whole night preceding the gala

I sat at

the piano in

Lord Berners' apartment instrumenting and scoring


the song for the orchestra., dictating
chord, note

by

note, to Ansermet,

it

chord by

who wrote

it

down. The orchestra parts were then quickly copied


out,

and in that way

was able

strumentation, conducted

to

hear

my own

in-

at the

next

morning's rehearsal of the evening program.

The

by Ansermet,

performance in the evening began with the Italian


National Anthem, followed by the Boat Song, in
place of Russia's. I conducted

Feu

d'Artifice

with

its

UOiseau de Feu and

decor, with special lighting

effects.

I
leff

can

still

recall the big


reception that

gave in the

stay, at

which

Grand Hotel in

Diaghi-

the course of

my

conducted parts of Petroushka, and


[

104

STRAVINSKY
at
ist

which there was an exhibition of


pictures

by

his friends

and

cubist

and futur-

collaborators.

Diaghileff, Picasso, Massine, and I

Rome

from

to Naples.

went on

Ansermet had gone in ad-

vance to prepare for the performances that Diaghileff

was

to give there.

Instead of the sunshine and azure blue I had

expected at Naples, I found a leaden sky, the sum-

mit of Vesuvius being shrouded in immovable and

happy memories of my
fortnight in this town, half Spanish and half reminiscent of the Near East. The company stayed on to
ominous mist.

Still, I

retain

rehearse Massine's second ballet,

mored Ladies^
latti's

The Good-hu-

in an appropriate setting with Scar-

music, as orchestrated by Tommasini. Bakst,

the designer of the decor and costumes, had come


for the rehearsals. Massine,

had shown himself


talent,

to

who from the beginning

be a ballet master of great

had created an admirable choreographic rep-

resentation of Goldoni's charming story. I took ad-

vantage of

my leisure to inspect the town,

tracted

generally

The famous aquarium atus more than anything else, and we spent

in Picasso's company.

105

STRAVINSKY
hours there.

We had both been greatly taken by the


and

old Neapolitan water colors

the

little

shops

and

dealers

fairly

combed

all

establishments in the

course of our frequent expeditions.

From Naples
had a

went back

to

Rome, where

week with Lord Berners.

delightful

I shall

never forget the adventure which later befell me in


the frontier at Chiasso on my return to
crossing

was taking my portrait,, which Picasso


drawn at Rome and given to me. When the

Switzerland. I

had just

military authorities examined

found

this

my

luggage they
would
drawing, and nothing in the world

induce them to
represented,

They asked me what it


told them that it was my

let it pass.

and when

drawn by a distinguished artist, they utrefused to believe me. "It is not a portrait, but

portrait,

terly

a plan," they said. "Yes, the plan of

nothing

else," I replied.

convince them, and I

But

had

all

my face, but of

my efforts

failed to

to send the portrait, in

Lord Berners' name, to the British Ambassador in


Rome, who later forwarded it to Paris in the diplomatic bag.

The

nection, and I

altercation

had to

Alas! a cruel

made me miss

stay at Chiasso

till

next day.

and unexpected blow was


[

106

my conto over-

STRAVINSKY
whelm me with sorrow just after I reached home.
An old friend of ours who had entered my parents'
;

service before I

in

was born and had looked

my earliest days

attached and

whom

whom

a friend to
I

to us at the

after

my return., I

was

me

closely

loved as a second mother, was

then living with us at Morges,

come

after

as I

had made her

beginning of the war. Not long


lunched with Ramuz at his house

in Lausanne and on returning

home

in his

company

and top hat in my


asked him what he wanted. "It

I noticed a stranger in tail coat

garden. Surprised,

appears that there has been a death in the house/'

he

said.

That was how

I learned of the loss that

befallen me. In the space of a

bursting of a blood vessel


Bertha. There
at

had

had

few short hours the


carried off

had not even been time

to

my

old

warn me

Lausanne.
Several weeks went

resume

my

feet 'again

by in sorrow before

work. Change of scene put

we went

me

could

on

my

into the mountains for the

summer, to Diablerets. But I had scarcely got back


to work when I had the shock of a new grief. A tele-

gram from Russia informed me that my brother, in


the army on the Roumanian front, had just sue[

107

STRAVINSKY
cumbed

to typhus. I

had not seen him for

time, as he had been living in Russia


but,

though our

lives

had been very

remained deeply attached


his death brought

During
able to find

me

to

of such friends as

I abroad,

had

diverse, I

him, and the news of

acute grief.

time

this difficult

some

and

a long

was fortunately

distraction in the frequent visits

Ramuz,

Berners, Diaghileff,

and

Ansermet. I continued working at the last scene of

Les Noces during the summer, and


for the pianola.

me

preceded

Many

I finished

of the musicians

a piece

who had

in visiting Spain had, on their


return,

put their impressions on record in works devoted to


the music they

had heard

there, Glinka

having far

outshone the rest with his


incomparable

Aragonaise and

Une Nuit a Madrid.

It

it.

The

Jota

was probably

in order to conform to this custom that


tribute to

La

I,

too, paid

whimsicalities of the unexpected

melodies of the mechanical


pianos and rattletrap orchestrinas of the Madrid streets and the little

night

taverns served as

theme for

expressly for the pianola,


as a roll

this piece,

which

wrote

and which was published

by the London JSolian Company. Subse[

108

STRAVINSKY
quently

I orchestrated this piece,

Madrid, and formed part of

which was

called

my Quatre fitudes pour

Orchestre, the three others being the three pieces


originally written as quartets in 1914.

109

WMMMWVMMMMMMMMAMMMM

THIS PERIOD, the end of


est I

91

was one of the hard-

7,

have ever experienced. Overwhelmed by the

had

successive bereavements that I

now

The Communist Revolution, which had

me

triumphed in Russia, deprived

which had

sources

me from my

from time

still

was

the utmost pecuniary dif-

also in a position of

ficulty.

ing

suffered., I

to

just

of the last re-

time been reach-

country, and I found myself, so to

with nothing, in a foreign land


and right in the middle of the war.
speak, face to face

It

was imperative

to find

a tolerable existence for


solation

from

was

my

many

others

ened circumstances.
ishly for some
situation. It

family.

My

only con-

was not alone in suffering

to see that I

these circumstances.

sennet, and

some way of ensuring

My friends

were

all

Ramuz, An-

in equally strait-

We often met and sought fever-

means

of escape

was in these
[

from

talks that

110

this

alarming

Ramuz and

I got

STRA FINSKY
hold of the idea of creating a sort of

little

traveling

from place to place and


theatre, easy
show in even small localities. But for that we had
to transport

to
to

have funds, and these were absolutely lacking. We


discussed this mad enterprise with Ansermet, who

was

become

to

its

orchestra leader, and with Auber-

jonois,

whose province was

tumes.

We

to

be the decor and cos-

elaborated our project to the last detail,

even to the itinerary of the tour, and

empty

We had to

pockets.

a group
selves in

who

all this

on

find a wealthy patron or

could be persuaded to interest them-

our scheme.

It

was, alas! no easy matter.

Refusals not always polite, but always categoric,


greeted us every time.

good fortune

to

At

last,

however,

we had

the

meet someone who not only prom-

ised to collect the requisite capital, but entered into

our plan with cordiality and sympathetic encourage-

ment.

It

was M. Werner Reinhart

famous for

of Winterthur,

his broad intellectual culture

and the

generous support that he and his brothers extended


to the arts

and

to artists.

Under this patronage, we

set ourselves to

Afanasyev's famous collection of Russian

which

work.

tales,

in

was then deeply absorbed, provided me with


c

in

STRAVINSKY
the subject of our performance. I introduced
to

Ramuz, who was very responsive


and immediately shared

lore,

the purpose of our theatre

drawn

to the cycle of

Russian f oik-

enthusiasm. For

we were

who

deserted and the Devil

inexorably conies to carry off his soul. This

cycle

was based on folk

stories of a cruel

enforced recruitment under Nicholas

which
skia y

particularly

legends dealing with the ad-

ventures of the soldier

who

my

to

them

also

produced

many songs known

period of

I,

a period

as

Rekrout-

which expatiate in verse on the tears and lam-

entations of

women

robbed of their sons or sweet-

hearts.

Although the character of their subject


cifically Russian, these

was

race as to

spe-

songs depict situations and

sentiments and unfold a moral so

human

is

common

to the

make an

international appeal. It

human

aspect of the tragic story

this essentially

of the soldier destined to

Devil that attracted


So

we worked

become the prey of the


Ramuz and myself.

at

our task with great

zest, re-

minding ourselves frequently of the modest means


at our disposal to
carry

it

to completion. I

too well that so far as the music

112

knew only

was concerned

STRAVINSKY
should have to be content with a very restricted orchestra.

The

easiest solution

would have been

to use

some such polyphonic instrument as the piano or


harmonium. The latter was out of the question,
chiefly because of

its

dynamic poverty, due

complete absence of accents.

Though

to the

the piano has

polyphonic qualities infinitely more varied, and offers

many

particularly

two reasons

to avoid it for

have seemed

dynamic

like

possibilities, I

either

my

score

had

would

an arrangement for the piano, and

would have given evidence of a certain lack of


financial means, which would not have been at all

that

in keeping with our intentions, or I should have


to use it as a solo instrument,
exploiting

bility of its technique.

had

to

had

every possi-

In other words, I should have

be specially careful about the "pianism" of

my score,

and make

order to justify

nothing for

it

it

into a vehicle of virtuosity, in

my choice

of

medium. So there was

but to decide on a group of instru-

ments, a selection which would include the most representative types, in treble

mental families

and

bass, of the instru-

for the strings, the violin and the

double bass; for the wood, the clarinet, because

has the biggest compass, and the bassoon

it

for the-

STRAVINSKY
trumpet and trombone,, and, finally, the percussion manipulated by only one musician, the

brass,

Another conwhole, of course, under a conductor.


sideration
tive to

which made

me was

this idea particularly attrac-

the interest afforded to the spectator

by being able to see


ing his own part in

these instrumentalists each play-

the ensemble. I have always

a horror of listening to music with

my

had

eyes shut,

with nothing for them to do. The sight of the ges-

movements of the various parts of the


body producing the music is fundamentally necessary if it is to be grasped in all its fullness. All music
tures and

created or composed

demands some exteriorization

for the perception of the listener. In other words,

it

must have an intermediary, an executant. That being


an essential condition, without which music cannot
wholly reach
so

us,

why wish to

why shut the

ignore

eyes to this fact

it,

or try to do

which

is

inherent

in the very nature of musical art?


Obviously one

frequently prefers to turn


close them,

when the

away

one's eyes, or even

superfluity of the player's ges-

ticulations prevents the concentration of one's faculties of

hearing. But if the player's

movements are

evoked solely by the exigencies of the


music, and do

STRAVINSKY
not tend to

make an impression on

extramusical devices,

the listener

by

not follow with the eye

why

such movements as those of the drummer., the violinist,

or the trombonist, which facilitate one's auditory

perceptions?

As

a matter of fact, those

who maintain

that they only enjoy music to the full with their

eyes shut do not hear better than

when they have

them open, but the absence of visual distractions enables them to abandon themselves to the reveries insounds, and that

duced by the lullaby of

its

what they prefer

music

to the

These ideas induced


chestra well in evidence

was

me

really

itself.

have

to

my

little

or-

when planning UHistoire

be on one side of the stage 7

d'un Soldat.

It

and a small

dais for the reader

to

is

on the

other. This

arrangement established the connection between the


three elements of the piece which by their close cooperation were to form a unity
stage

and the

actors,

on one

in the center , the

them the music,


Our idea was that the

side of

and, on the other, the reader.

three elements should sometimes take turns as soloists

and sometimes combine

as

an ensemble.

We worked hard at UHistoire d'un Soldat during

all

the early part of

9 1 8, as

we intended to pro-

STRAVINSKY
duce

it

My uninterrupted collabora-

summer.

in the

Ramuz was

tion with

more precious
growing closer and
the

because our friendship,

helped
I

was

me to

bear the

difficult

times through

to

me

closer,

which

living, sickened and, as a patriot, desperately

humiliated, as I
Brest-Litovsk.

was by the monstrous Peace of

When we had

finished writing the

and amusing time ensued. We had


arrange for its staging, and for that we had first

Soldat, a lively
to

of

all to

find actors.

By good

luck

it

happened that

George and Ludmila Pitoeff were at Geneva just


then, and lent us their valuable assistance $ he as the
Devil in his dancing scenes, and she as the Princess.

Two more

actors

were needed

for the role of the

and of the Devil where he was only


acting.
required also a reader, and we found all three

Soldier

We

among

the Lausanne University students. Gabriel

Rossel took the part of the Soldier, Jean Villard that


of the Devil,
bin,

and the young

geologist, Elie

Gagne-

became the reader.


After a great

for the musicians,

which

Mme

reached the

many

rehearsals for the actors,

and for the

Pitoeff

moment
[

and
to

Princess'

which we had

H6

dances,

evolved together,

we

so eagerly

STRAVINSKY
looked forward, and on September 28, 1918, the first

performance was given at the Lausanne Theatre.


I had always been a sincere admirer of Ren6
Auberjonois' drawing and painting, but

had not

expected that he would give proof of such subtle

imagination and such complete mastery as he did in


the scenery and costumes, and the whole artistry of
his setting.

Among our other collaborators I had had

the good fortune to discover one

who

later

became

not only a most faithful and devoted friend, but also

one of the most reliable and understanding executants of


I

my compositions

mean Ansermet.

had already recommended him

to take the place of Pierre


to

Monteux, who, greatly

our regret, had had to leave us

rection

to Diaghileff

up the diof the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and I

valued very highly his admirable

to take

gifts of

ship, the firmness of his conducting,

and

musicianhis

broad

general culture, but up to that time 1 had not been


able to

of

form a

definite opinion of

him

as

conductor

my own works.
He was

frequently absent, and

fore, only rarely

and by chance that

opportunity of hearing
[

him conduct
117

it

was, there-

had had any

my music

and

STRA VINSKJ
the few isolated renderings I had heard, good though
sufficient to show me what
they were, had not been
how
an admirable conductor he was to become, and

faithfully

he could transmit

my musical thought to

the public, without ever falsifying

it

by personal or

as I have already said,


arbitrary interpretation. For,

music should be transmitted and not interpreted, because interpretation reveals the personality of the
rather than that of the author, and who

interpreter

can guarantee that such an executant will reflect


the author's vision without distortion?

An

executant's talent lies precisely in his facscore,

and cer-

to find there
tainly not in a determination

what he

ulty for seeing

would

what is actually in the

like to find.

This

is

Ansermet's greatest and

most precious quality, and it particularly revealed


itself while we were studying the score of the Soldat.

From that moment

dates

an

intellectual understand-

has only increased and


ing between us which time
strengthened.

His reputation

works

is

as

a perfect executant of

my

well established, but I have always been

astonished that

who admire

many

apparently cultured people,

his execution of

118

contemporary music,
]

STRAVINSKY
do not pay enough attention to the

way in which he

renders the works of days gone by. Ansermet


of the conductors

who

is

one

emphatically confirm

my

long-standing conviction as to the relationship be-

tween past and present music, the conviction that


is

it

impossible for anyone to grasp fully the art of a

bygone period to penetrate beneath the obsolete


form and discern the author's meaning in a lan;

guage no longer spoken, unless he has a comprehensive and lively feeling for the present, and unless he
consciously participates in the life around him.

For

who can

it is

only those

are essentially alive

discover the real life of those

of view, I

who

are

why, even from a pedagogical point


think that it would be wiser to begin the

"dead." That

is

education of a pupil by

what

who

first

giving

him

a knowledge

step

and only then tracing history backward,


by step, to what has been.
Frankly, I have but little confidence in those

who

pose as refined connoisseurs and passionate ad-

of

is,

mirers of the great pontiffs of art


eral stars in the guidebooks or

by a

honored by sevportrait, usually

quite unrecognizable, in illustrated encyclopedias

but

who know nothing of the


[

119

art of their

own times.

STRAVINSKY
at all

Should any consideration

be given to those

names but whose

who go

into raptures over great

attitude,

when confronted with contemporary works,

is

one of bored indifference, or the display of a

marked preference for the mediocre and the commonplace?


Ansermet's merit

precisely in his ability to

lies

reveal the relationship between the music of today

and that of the past by purely musical methods.


Knowing, as he does to perfection, the musical language of our own times, and, on the other hand,
playing a large number of old, classical scores, he
soon perceived that the authors of
confronted

above

all,

by the

all

periods were

solution of problems

specifically musical.

That

is

which were,

his rare merit,

and that explains his vital contact with the musical


literature of the most diverse periods.

With regard

to technique in the true sense of

the word, to give a rendering of the Soldat was a


brilliant opportunity for

Ansermet

to

display his

mastery. For with an orchestra of only seven musicians, all playing as soloists, there could

be no ques-

tion of fooling the public

effects

with which we are

all

all

by the dynamic
familiar and which are
120

too

STRAVINSKY
was necessary not only to reach, a meticulous
perfection and precision of execution., but to sustain
easy j

it

it

without ever faltering for a moment, because,

with

so small a

number

of instruments,

it

would

have been impossible to conceal what an adroit conductor could have

made

to pass unnoticed in a large

orchestra.

Taking
first

all

these things into consideration, the

performance of the Soldat completely

me. Nor was

this so

was

only. It

from the point

satisfied

of view of music

a great success as a whole, thanks to

careful execution, setting, and perfect interpretation.

The

true note was struck then, but unfortu-

nately I have never since seen a performance of the


Soldat that has satisfied

to the

same degree.

my memory for that perand I am grateful to my friends and col-

have kept a
formance,

me

special place in

laborators, as well as to

Werner Reinhart, who, hav-

ing been unable to find any other backers, generously


financed the whole enterprise himself. As a token of

my gratitude
cated to,

him

and friendship,

wrote

for,

and dedi-

three pieces for clarinet solo, he being

familiar with that instrument and liking to play

among

his intimates.

it

STRAVINSKY
As

have already indicated;

we had no

inten-

tion of restricting the Soldat to one performance.

We had much more


go further

to

Switzerland with our traveling

afield in

theatre. But, alas!

and meant

extensive plans,

we had reckoned without

the

all over Europe


Spanish influenza which was raging
at that time and did not spare us. One after another

we

all fell

the agents

victims to

it;

who were

Before talking of

and even

dreams faded away.

my

return to

illness, I

mention a work which

families,

have taken charge of our

to

tour. All our beautiful

long and depressing

we our

life after this

must go back a

little to

composed directly after

fin-

dimensions are
ishing the score of the Soldat. Its
modest, but

it is

indicative of the passion I felt at

that time for jazz,

when the war


this

which burst

ended.

into life so suddenly

At my request,

a whole pile of

music was sent to me, enchanting

truly popular appeal,

its

freshness,

rhythm, which so distinctly revealed

me by

its

and the novel

its

negro origin.

These impressions suggested the idea of creating a


composite portrait of this new dance music, giving
the creation the importance of a concert piece, as, in
the past, the composers of their periods

122

had done

for

STRAVINSKY
the minuet, the waltz, the mazurka,

etc.

So I com-

my

posed
string,

Ragtime for eleven instruments, wind,


percussion, and a Hungarian cymbalon.

Some years

later, I

conducted

it

myself at

its first

audition at one of Koussevitzky's concerts at the


Paris Opera House.
I felt so

enza that

weak

found

after
it

my

long bout with influ-

impossible at the

undertake anything at

all

moment

to

fatiguing, and I therefore

occupied myself with work that I imagined would


not overtax my strength. I had long toyed with the
idea of arranging certain fragments of L'Oiseau de

Feu in the form

of a suite, but for a

orchestra, in order to facilitate

many

its

much

smaller

production

by the

orchestral societies which,

though wishing to
include that work in their programs, were frequently
deterred

by

difficulties of

In the earlier

a purely material nature.

which

had arranged shortly


after the composition of the ballet, I had retained an
orchestra of the same size as the original, and the
suite,

various societies which organized concerts rarely

had

such large ensembles at their disposal. In this second


version I added certain portions and cut out others

which had been in the


[

first,

and

123

considerably de-

STRA FINSKT
creased the orchestra without upsetting the equilib-

rium of the instrumental groups,


the

number needed

for

its

so as to

reduce

performance to about

sixty musicians.

As the work progressed, I saw that my task was


by no means so simple as I had imagined, and it took
six

months

to

it.

complete

During the winter

Mme

a Croat singer,

made

the acquaintance of

Maja de

Strozzi-Pecic,

who

had a beautiful soprano voice. She asked me to write


something for her, and I composed Four Russian
Songs on folk poems that
I
visit,

went

Ramuz

translated for

to Paris in the early spring

and there

met

Diaghileff,

me.

on a short

whom

had not

seen for more than a year.

The Peace
it

did so

many

ward position.

had placed him, as


compatriots, in a very awk-

of Brest-Litovsk
of his

It

had found him and his company in

Spain, and there they were, so to speak, shut up, be-

cause everywhere Russians were, one and

garded

as undesirable,

and innumerable

were made whenever they wished to


country

all,

re-

difficulties

travel

from one

to another.

Having made an engagement with the London


[

124

STRA VINSKY
Coliseum., Diaghileff ; after a great deal of trouble,

did finally

manage to

get permission for himself and

the whole

company to go to London via France.


When I saw him in Paris, I naturally told him

about the Soldat, and the pleasure that

had given me, but he did not evince the


est. I

knew him

too well to be surprised

its

success

least inter-

he was in-

credibly jealous about his friends and collaborators,


especially those

he most esteemed.

He

simply would

not recognize their right to work apart from

and

his undertakings.

He

could not help

garded their action as a breach of

found
certs,

it difficult to

whether

as

tolerate

my

faith.

it 5

him

he re-

He

even

appearance at con-

conductor or pianist, though that

obviously had nothing whatever to do with the theatre.

Now

ing,

and

I tried

that he
it

is

dead,

it all

has left no trace of bitterness ; but

during his lifetime

to get

enjoyment of successes which


his participation,

him

it

when

to share in

my

had made without

and encountered only

indifference, or even hostility,

and

seems rather touch-

his obvious

hurt me; I was re-

I suffered acutely. It

was

though a
friend's door had remained tightly shut after I had
knocked at it. All this happened when the question
pelled,

125

as

STRAVINSKY
of the Soldat arose ; and a certain coolness between

us ensued., but

While

it

did not last long.

was in

Paris, Diaghileff used all his

diplomatic talents to entice

the lost sheep, so

back into the fold of the Russian Ballet.

to speak

In order

me

to distract

me from the unfortunate Soldat,

he talked with exaggerated enthusiasm about his


plan to put on Le Chant du Rossignol, with scenery

and costumes by Henri Matisse and choreography


by Massine. But I was not taken with the idea, because,, despite

the fact that the thought of collaborat-

ing with a great

artist like

Matisse and such a chore-

Massine was very alluring, I had


destined Le Chant du Rossignol for the concert platographer

form,,
to

as

and a choreographic rendering seemed to

be quite unnecessary.

writing and

its

somewhat

Its subtle

me

and meticulous

static character

would not

have lent themselves to stage action and the movements of dancing. But another proposal by Diaghileff

did very greatly tempt me.

The
Domenico

success of

The Good-humored Ladies, with

Scarlatti's

music, had suggested the idea

of producing something to the music of another


illustrious Italian, Pergolesi,

126

whom,
]

as

he knew,

STRA VINSKY
and admired immensely. In his visits to Italy,
Diaghileff had gone through a number of this mas-

liked

unfinished manuscripts that he discovered in

ter's

various Italian conservatoires, copies of which he

had had made


lection

for him.

He

later completed the col-

with what he found in the

libraries of

don. There was a very considerable


terial,

which Diaghileff showed

should seek

music for a

my inspiration

ballet,

in

to
it

amount

Lon-

of

ma-

me, urging that


and compose the

the subject of which was to be

taken from a collection containing various versions

amorous adventures of

of the

Pulcinella.

have always been enchanted by Pergolesi's


Neapolitan music, so entirely of the people and yet
I

so exotic in its

I should

Spanish character.

work with

The

proposal that

who was

Picasso,

to

do the

scenery and costumes and whose art was particularly

near and dear

to

me, recollections of our walks

gether and the impressions of Naples

we had

to-

shared,

the great pleasure I had experienced from Massine's

choreography in The Good-humored Ladies


this

combined

was a

to

overcome

delicate task to breathe

fragments and

to create a

my

reluctance.

new life

it

into scattered

whole from the

127

For

all

isolated

STRAVINSKY
pages of a musician for

whom I

felt

a special liking

and tenderness.
Before attempting a task so arduous, I had to
find an answer to a question of the greatest impor-

by which I found myself

tance

faced. Should

my line

of action with regard to Pergolesi be dominated

my love or by my

respect for his music? Is

respect that urges us to possess a

by

love alone that

we

woman?

it

by

love or

Is it

not

succeed in penetrating to the

very essence of a being? But, then, does love diminish respect? Respect alone remains barren, and can
never serve as a productive or creative factor. In
order to create there must be a dynamic force, and

what

force

is

more potent than love? To

that to ask the question


I

is

to

answer

me it

seems

it.

do not want the reader to think that in writ-

ing this

am

trying to exonerate myself

from the

absurd accusations of sacrilege leveled against me.


I

am

only too familiar with the mentality of those

curators and archivists of music

who

jealously

guard

the intangibility of relics at which they never so

much

as look,

while resenting any attempt on the

part of others to resuscitate these treasures which

they themselves regard as dead and sacrosanct. Not


[

128

STRAVINSKY
only

my

is

sacrilege,

conscience clear of having committed

but ?

so far as I

can

see,

my

attitude to-

wards Pergolesi is the only one that can usefully be


taken up with regard to the music of bygone times.

work on the

Instead of starting

Pulcinella di-

Morges, and finished a piano


piece I had begun some time before with Arthur
Rubinstein and his strong, agile, clever fingers in

rectly, I returned to

mind. I dedicated

Piano

this

was inspired by the same

Rag Music

ideas,

and

him. I

to

my aim was the

same, as in Ragtime, but in this case I stressed the


percussion possibilities of the piano.

What

fasci-

nated me most of all in the work was that the different

rhythmic episodes were dictated by the fingers themselves.

that I
to

My own
began

play

today

is

it

seemed

to enjoy

it so

to practice the piece, not that I

my

in public

too limited to

simply for
to

fingers

my personal

wanted

pianistic repertoire

fill

a recital

much
even

program

satisfaction. Fingers are

but
not

be despised they are great inspirers, and, in con:

with a musical instrument, often give birth to


subconscious ideas which might otherwise never

tact

During the following months I gave


myself up entirely to Pulcinella, and the work filled

come

to life.

129

STRAVINSKY
me

with joy. The material

had

at

my

disposal

numerous fragments and shreds of compositions


either unfinished or merely outlined, which by good
fortune had eluded filtering academic editors

made me

more and more the true nature

appreciate

of Pergolesi while discerning ever


closeness of

my

mental and,

more

clearly the

so to speak, sensory

kinship with him.

Frequent conferences with Diaghileff, Picasso,

and Massine were necessitated by the task before


which was

to

me

write a ballet for a definite scenario,

with scenes differing in character but following each


other in ordered sequence. I therefore

had

to

go to

Paris from time to time in order to settle every detail.

Our conferences were very often far from peace-

able j frequent disagreements arose,

and our meet-

ings occasionally ended in stormy scenes.

Sometimes the costumes failed


Diaghileff 's expectations 5 sometimes

to

come up

my

to

orchestra-

tion disappointed him. Massine composed his chore-

ography from a piano arrangement made from the


orchestral score and sent piecemeal to him by me
as I finished each part.

happened that when


[

As a

result of this, it often

was shown certain

130

steps

and

STRAVINSKY
movements

had been decided upon I saw to my


horror that in character and importance they in no
that

wise corresponded to the very modest

possibilities of

my small chamber orchestra. They had wanted, and


looked for, something quite different from my score,
something

could not give.

it

The choreography had,

therefore, to be altered and adapted to the

of

my music,
though

ance,

and that caused them no


they realized that there

volume

little

annoywas no other

solution.

In the autumn, Werner Reinhart was good

enough to organize some concerts in Geneva, Lausanne, and Zurich to let the Swiss public hear something of
toire

my chamber music, such as the suite L'His-

d'un Soldat for piano,

violin,

and

clarinet 5 the

three solo pieces for clarinet only; the two small

groups of songs Berceuses du Chat and Pribaoutki;

Ragtime, arranged

as a

piano solo Piano Rag Music;


:,

My

and, finally, the eight easy duets for the piano.


executants

were Mile

Tatianova,

vocalist 5

Iturbi, pianist 5 Jose Porta, violinist 5

Jos

and Edmond

Allegra, clarinet. Iturbi and I played the duets.


I

ought

to

mention here a concert which had a

certain importance for

me
151

in view of

my new

or-

STRAVINSKY
On December

chestral experiments.

6 a

first

per-

formance of Le Chant du Rossignol was given at

Geneva

at

one of the subscription concerts of the

Romande under

Orchestre de la Suisse

of Ernest Ansermet. I say

the direction

new experiment

because,

in this symphonic poem, written for an orchestra of

ordinary

size, I

treated the latter

and laid

orchestra,

stress

more

as a

chamber

on the concertante

side,

not only of the various solo instruments, but also

gave

whole groups of instruments. This


treatment was well adapted to music full

this role to

orchestral

of cadenzas, vocalises,

and in which

tutti

and melismata of

were the exception.

all

kinds,

enjoyed the

performance greatly, for the rendering was careful

and highly

finished. I

regretfully, since I

for the theatre

reached the conclusion

was the author of

many

very
works

that a perfect rendering can only

be achieved in the concert hall, because the stage


presents a combination of several elements

which the music has often

to depend, so that it

upon
can-

not rely upon the exclusive consideration which


receives at a concert. I

was confirmed in

this

it

view

when, two months later, under the direction of the


same conductor, Ansermet, Le Chant du Rossignol
[

132

STRAVINSKY
was given

as a ballet

by Diaghileff

at the Paris

Op&ra.
All the early part of 1920 was

filled

with ex-

citement, feverish activity, and continual travel necessitated

by preparations

for the performance of

which was given at the Op6ra on May


15.1 had to go to and fro between Merges and Paris,

Pulcinella,

where
to

my

presence was constantly required either

hear singers and rehearse them, or

to follow

closely the choreographic rehearsals in order to

spare Massine unpleasant misunderstandings of the


sort already described.

was very tiring, I enjoyed


taking part in a task which ended in a real success.
Pulcinella is one of those productions
and they

Although

all this

where everything harmonizes, where all


the elements
subject, music, dancing, and artistic
are rare

setting

As

for the choreography, with the possible excep-

tion of a
to

form a coherent and homogeneous whole.

few

change,

fully has

episodes that

it is

one

role

had not been

possible

of Massine's finest creations, so

he assimilated the

theatre. In addition, his


title

it

was above

spirit of the

own performance

all praise.

Neapolitan

135

As

in the

for Picasso, he

STRAVINSKY
worked miracles, and

I find it difficult to

what was most enchanting


the
sign, or
able

decide

the coloring; the de-

amazing inventiveness of

this

remark-

man.
I

had expected a

who have

hostile reception

from those

constituted themselves the custodians of

scholastic tradition,

and was not astonished by their

had formed the habit of disregarding


whose authority was
equivocal musical group

reprobation. I
this

more than

doubtful. All the

attitude of those

who were

score something better

more precious was the

my

able to discern in

than a more or

less adroit

eighteenth-century pastiche.

As, with the return of peace, life resumed


activities in

its

the whole of Europe, particularly in

France, I realized that I could no longer remain in


the involuntary isolation to which the

war had con-

fined me. I therefore resolved to take

my

lares

and

penates to France, where, at the

moment, the pulse


of the world was throbbing most strongly. It was

with a

full heart that I felt constrained to

to the

Vaud

me

country, which

bid adieu

had endeared

by the precious friendships found in


[

154

itself to
it,

and

STRAVINSKY
which had helped me bear the severe trials that I
had had to undergo during the war years. I shall
always keep in
In June

my heart a feeling of affection for it.


I left Morges with my family and

settled in France.
It

We spent the summer in Brittany.

was an important moment in

one period of

it.

my lif e,

The ensuing

wider aspect, thanks

for

it

closed

period takes on a

to the fact that, while

still

con-

my creative work, I became also the executant of my own music. I shall have occasion to speak

tinuing

of this

new

activity,

and the

reflections to

gives rise, in the second part of

where

I shall record

settled in France,

my life

my

motherland.

135

it

chronique,

from the time when

which has become

which

my

second

PART

TWO

V\WWWrtAA\VlVVW/V\AWAAM^

WHEN

Switzerland to

left

settle

in France I

brought away some sketches of an idea suggested by


M. Alfred Pochon, leader of the Flonzaley String
Quartet.

The

Flonzaley, a group of Vaudois musi-

cians, taking their

name from

formed in the United

that canton, per-

States for a considerable time.

M. Pochon wished to introduce a contemporary work


into their almost exclusively

and asked

me

to write

form and length of


So

it

was for them that

form of a

its

diminutive

tours.

composed

Con-

movement, treated in

first violin,

limited dimensions, led


title

During

my

free sonata allegro with a definitely

concertante part for the

count of

piece, in

choosing, to appear in

numerous

certino, a piece in one single

the

repertoire,

them an ensemble

my own

the programs of their

classical

my

and

this,

me to

on ac-

give

it

the

Concertino (piccolo concerto).


stay at Carantec, in Brittany, I

139

STRAVINSKY
was

also

engaged on another work, which originated

as follows

The Revue Musicale proposed


ber devoted to the

memory

to issue a

num-

of Debussy, containing

several pages of music, each specially written for

by one of the great man's surviving adand I was among those asked to contribute.

the occasion
mirers,

The composition of this page, however, made


me feel bound to give rein to the development of a

new

phase of musical thought conceived under the

work itself and the solemnity of the


circumstances that had led to it.

influence of the

began at the end, and wrote a choral piece


which later on became the final section of my SymI

phonies pour Instruments a Vent, dedicated to the

memory
the

of Claude Achille Debussy. This I gave to

Revue Musicale in a version arranged for the

pianoforte.
It

was while

Debussy's death.

still

in Switzerland that I heard of

When

had

last

seen

him he was

already very weak, and I realized that he


leave us. Subsequently I

ing accounts of him,

had received more reassur-

so that the

news of his death

came upon me rather unexpectedly.


[

must soon

140

STRAVINSKY
I
I

was

sincerely attached to

him

man, and
of one whose great

grieved not only at the loss

as a

friendship had been

marked with unfailing kindness

towards myself and

my work,

an

artist

who, in

spite of

but at the passing of

maturity and health

ready hopelessly undermined, had

still

al-

been able

to

retain his creative powers to the full, and whose musical

genius had been in no

way

impaired throughout

the whole period of his activity.

While composing
had in mind the
them.

my

Symphonies

man to whom

I naturally

wished

used to wonder what impression

to dedicate

my

music

would have made on him, and what his reactions


would have been. I had a distinct feeling that he
would have been rather disconcerted by
cal idiom, as

he was,

remember, by

j&toiles, also dedicated to

him, when

my musimy Roi des

we played it

to-

gether as a duet for one pianoforte. Moreover, this


piece

had been composed

at the time of the Sacre,

about seven years before the Symphonies.

had

cer-

tainly experienced considerable evolution since then,

and not in the direction pointed to by the tendencies


of the Debussyist period. But this supposition, I will
even say

this certainty, that

141

my
]

music would have

STRA FINSKY
remained foreign

him, was far from discouraging

to

me.
According
tended

to

ought not

pay
to

to

my

to the

idea, the

memory

homage

that I in-

of the great musician

be inspired by his musical thought; on

the contrary, I desired rather to express myself in a

language which should be essentially


It is

in the nature of things

my
and

own.
it is this

which determines the uninterrupted march of evolution in art quite as

man

much

as in other

branches of hu-

which immediately precede us are temporarily farther away from us than


others which are more remote in time. That is why
activity

that epochs

moment

do not think that at the

could form a just appreciation of Debussy. It

clear that his aesthetic,

not nowadays stimulate


for

me from

his period, could

my appetite

or provide food

recognizing his outstanding person-

from drawing a
numerous satellites.

ality or

I finished these

I spent the
I

and that of

is

my musical thought, though that in nowise pre-

vents

his

of writing (1955)

distinction

Symphonies

between him and

at

Garches, where

winter of 1920-1921. At the same time

wrote a group of

little

pieces for children

142

which

STRAVINSKY
were published under the title Les Cinq Doigts. In
these eight pieces, which are very easy, the five
fingers of the right hand, once

on the keys, remain

same place sometimes even for the whole


length of the piece, while the left hand, which is

in the

destined to
tern, either

accompany the melody, executes a patharmonic or contrapuntal, of the utmost

simplicity. I

very

much

found

restricted

it

rather amusing^ with these

means,

to try to

child a taste for melodic design in

awaken in the

its

combinations

with a rudimentary accompaniment.


Diaghileff was just then giving a
tion of

Le Sacre du Printemps

at the

new

produc-

Theatre des

Champs-filys^es.
Nijinsky's absence

he had been interned for

and the impossibility of remembering


overburdened, complicated, and confused chore-

some years
his

ography, gave us the idea of re-creating


living form,

it

and the work was entrusted

in a

to

more

L^onide

Massine.

The young

ballet

with unquestionable

He

master accomplished his task

talent.

certainly put order

his dance compositions.

and understanding into

There were even moments

145

STRAVINSKY
of great beauty in the group
plastic expression

music, and, above

was in

movements when the

perfect accord with the

in the sacrificial dance so bril-

all,

liantly executed

in

by Lydia Sokolova that it still lives


the memory of everyone who saw it. I must say,

however;
and the

that.,

notwithstanding

fact that the

new

its

striking qualities

production flowed out of

the music and was not, as the

had been, imposed on it, Massine's composition had in places


something forced and artificial about it. This defect
first

frequently arises, as choreographers are fond of cutting up a rhythmic episode of the music into frag-

ments, of working up each fragment separately, and


then sticking the fragments
By reason of
together.

this dissection, the

choreographic line, which should

coincide with that of the music,


rarely does so,

and

the results are deplorable; the


choreographer can

never by such methods obtain a


plastic rendering of
the musical phrase. In
putting together these small
units

(choreographical bars) he obtains,

it is

true,

a total which
agrees with the length of a given
musical fragment, but he achieves

nothing more,

and the music

mere

is

not adequately represented

addition sum, but

by

demands from choreography

144

STRAVINSKY
an organic equivalent of

its

own proportions. More-

procedure on the part of the choreographer reacts unfavorably on the music itself , prethis

over.,

venting the listener from recognizing the musical

fragment choreographed. I speak from experience,


because my music has frequently suffered from this
deplorable method.

As

Diaghileff 's affairs were at this time in very

low water

financially, the reproduction of the Sacre

had been made

possible only

by the backing

friends. I should like especially to

Gabrielle Chanel,

who

of his

mention Mile

not only generously came to

the assistance of the venture,, but took an active part


in the production

made

by arranging

to

have the costumes

in her world-famous dressmaking establish-

ment.
In the course of this Diaghileff season at the
Theatre des Champs-filys^es I at last had an opportunity of seeing Parade, the

and

work

Picasso, the production of

been the subject of

so

much

of Cocteau, Satie,

which in 1917 had

discussion.

Although

had played the music on the piano, seen photographs


of the scenery and costumes, and was intimately acquainted with the scenario, the performance gave
[

145

STRAVINSKY
an impression of freshness and real originality.

me

me

Parade confirmed

further in

still

of Satie's merit in the part he

music by opposing

my

conviction

had played in French

vagueness of a decrepit

to the

firm language stripped


impressionism a precise and
of

all pictorial

embellishments.

In the spring of 1921 a Paris music hall asked

me

if I

would

let

dental music for a

and

taken from

my

my

little

few pages of

sketch, within the

amused

their audience. It
sort of thing,

them have

inci-

range of

me to try my hand

at that

I therefore orchestrated four pieces

collection of

Easy Duets. Although

was more than modest, the composiI wrote it was given only at the first few per-

orchestra

tion as

formances.

month

When

later I

went

to see the sketch

found that there was but

again a

little left

of

had written. Everything was completely


muddled, some instruments were lacking or had

what

been replaced by others, and the music

itself as

exe-

cuted by this pitiful band had become unrecognizable. It

was a good

trusting honest

which music

show and

its

is

lesson.

work to

One must never

risk en-

that sort of establishment in

certain to be mutilated to suit the

patrons.

146

STRA VIN SKY


Diaghileff was engaged for a season at the

Royal Theatre, Madrid, in the spring, and asked me


to go with him to conduct Petroushka, the King's
favorite ballet. Alfonso
all

and the two Queens came

to

the performances., and, as usual, enjoyed them.

They were
the

present also at an informal party that

management

of the Royal Theatre gave in our

honor, and to which some of the

pany were

also invited. Diaghileff

spend Easter at

Semana

of la

artists of

Seville,

its

decided to

famous processions

Throughout those seven days

Santa.

we mingled with

with

and

our com-

the crowds.

It is

astonishing that

these fetes, half pagan, half Christian, and consecrated

by time, have

ness and vitality


cies

and

all

lost

nothing of their fresh-

notwithstanding the travel agen-

the guides

who

are

beyond price but

be paid, and notwithstanding, moreover, the


their
particular kind of publicity which has been

have

to

fate.

The

much

spring and

summer

of

1921 were very

was Diaghileff 's Paris


with the new production of Le Sacre and the

disturbed. First there

season,

creation of Souffon (Chout), Prokofiev's masterpiece,

which unfortunately one never hears now in


[

147

STRAVINSKY
its

entirety.

Then came

my prolonged

don ; where Le Sacre was given

stay in

first

Lon-

at a concert

conducted by Eugene Goossens and, later, at the

by the Diaghileff company.


that
Though it was terribly hot in London

theatre

summer, the town was very

full,

and

was con-

newly made acround of lunches,


quaintances. It was one continuous
weekends which left me no
teas, receptions, and
stantly surrounded

time

friends and

by

to myself.
I

cannot pass over in silence an event in this

London

visit

which caused

me

a good deal of dis-

Koussevitzky was giving a concert, and asked

tress.

me to

entrust

him with

the

first

performance of

my

Symphonies ^Instruments a Vent a la Memoire de


Debussy. I did not, and indeed I could not, count on

any immediate
all

the elements

nary

listener

would be

success for this work. It

which

and

to

is

devoid of

infallibly appeal to the ordi-

which he

futile to look in it for

pulse or dynamic brilliance. It

which

is

is

accustomed.

It

any passionate imis an austere ritual

unfolded in terms of short litanies between

different groups of

homogeneous instruments.

I fully anticipated that

148

the cantilene of clari-

STRAVINSKY
nets

and

flutes ;

frequently taking up again their

liturgical dialogue

and

softly chanting

offer sufficient attraction to a public

recently

shown me

did not

it,

which had

so

their enthusiasm for the "rev-

olutionary" Sacre du Printemps. This music

is

not

meant "to please" an audience or to rouse its passions. I had hoped, however, that it would appeal to
those in

whom

weighed the

a purely musical receptivity out-

desire to satisfy emotional cravings.

Alas! the conditions under which the

given

made that impossible. In

the

work was

first place, it

was

given in an ill-chosen sequence. This music, composed for a score of wind instruments, an ensemble

which people were not accustomed at that time


and whose timbre was bound to seem rather disap-

to

pointing, was placed immediately after the

pompous

marches of the Cog d'Or, with their well-known orchestral brilliancy.

And

this is

what happened

as

soon as the marches were finished, three-quarters of


the instrumentalists left their seats, and in the vast

arena of Queen's Hall I saw


still

my

twenty musicians

in their places at the back of the platform at an

enormous distance from the conductor. The sight


was peculiar in

itself.

To

see a conductor gesticulat-

149

STRA VINSKJ
ing in front of an empty space, with
effort because the players

somewhat

disturbing.

were

so far

To conduct

of instruments at such a distance

arduous

more

the

all

away, was

or control a group
is

an exceedingly

was particularly arduous on this


the character of my music demanded

task. It

occasion, as

the most delicate care to attain the ear of the public

and

to

tame the audience

to

it.

Both

my

work and

Koussevitzky himself were thus victimized

by unto-

ward circumstances in which no conductor in the


world could have made good.

The

made

success of his season of the Ballet

Russe

Diaghileff eager to realize a long-cherished

project for the revival of the chef d'oeuvre of our


classical

ballet

Tchaikovsky's

Knowing

my

and that

I entirely

asked

me

Sleeping

Beauty.

great admiration for the composer,

to help

approved his idea, Diaghileff

him

to carry out his


plan. It

necessary to examine the score of the ballet,

had been obtained with the utmost

was

which

difficulty, as it

was, I believe, the


side Russia. It

only copy extant in Europe outwas not even engraved. Certain


parts

which had been cut

at its first
production in St.

Petersburg, and which Diaghileff wanted to include,


[

150

STRA VINSKY
were not in the orchestral

score, but

were

found only in the pianoforte arrangement.

to

be

under-

took to orchestrate them, and, as Diaghileff had

himself reversed the order of various numbers, he


asked

me

also to

arrange the harmonic and orches-

tral connections needed.

During

this

same London

I conceived another

heart.

What

gave

visit

Diaghileff and

plan that I had very

rise to it

much

at

was our common love

and admiration for our great poet Pushkin, who for


foreigners, alas! is but a name in an encyclopedia,
but whose genius in
ity
us,

his

all its versatility

and universal-

was not only particularly dear and precious to


but represented a whole school of thought. By
nature, his mentality, and his ideology Pushkin

was the most perfect representative of that wonderful line which began with Peter the Great and
which, by a fortunate

alloy, has united the

most

characteristically Russian elements with the spiritual

riches of the West.

Diaghileff unquestionably belonged to this line,

have only confirmed the aualthenticity of that origin. As for myself, I had
ways been aware that I had in me the germs of this

and

all

his activities

151

STRA FINSKY
same mentality only needing development, and

subsequently deliberately cultivated them.

Was

not the difference between this mentality

and the mentality of the Five, which had so rapidly


become academic and concentrated in the Belaieff
circle

under the domination of Rimsky-Korsakov

and Glazounov, that the former was as it were, cosmopolitan; whereas the latter was purely national;

ist?

The national element

with Pushkin
sky.

as well as

But with them

it

occupies a prominent place

with Glinka and Tchaikov-

flows spontaneously

from their

very nature, whereas with the others the nationalistic

tendency was a doctrinaire catechism they wished

to impose.

This nationalistic, ethnographical aes-

which they persisted in cultivating was not in


reality far removed from the spirit which inspired
thetic

those films one sees of the old Russia of the tsars

and boyars. What


in the

is

so obvious in

modern Spanish

them, as indeed

"folklorists,"

whether paint-

ers or musicians, is that naive

but dangerous tend-

ency which prompts them

remake an art that

to

has already been created


instinctively by the genius
of the people. It is a sterile
tendency, and an evil

from which many talented


[

artists suffer.

152

STRA FINSKY
It is

fest in

were

true that Occidentalism was equally mani-

both the groups in question ; but

origins

different.

Dargomijsky and others

like

Tchaikovsky,
less

its

well known, although using popular

airs,

not hesitate to present them in a Gallicized or


ianized
alists"

form in the manner

of Glinka.

Europeanized their music

The

just as

that

to say,

is

by

Ital-

"nation-

much, but

they were inspired by very different models


ner, Liszt, Berlioz

did

Wag-

the spirit of

romanticism and program music.


It is true that a

Germanic

Tchaikovsky could not escape

though he was under the

influences. But,

influence of Schumann, that did not prevent

him

from remaining Russian any more than Gounod,


for example, was prevented from remaining French.
Both profited by the purely musical discoveries of
the great German, who was himself so eminently a

They borrowed

musician.

distinctive idioms

The

the composition of

lomna. By

and his

without adopting his ideology.

project of

Pushkin's

his phraseology

rhymed

which

my

spoke above resulted in

Maura, taken from


The Little House in Ko-

opera,

story,

this choice,

about which Diaghileff and

155

STRA 7INSKY
were in complete agreement, I asserted my attitude towards the two trends of Russian thought beI

tween which

have just

cal plane this

me

of Pushkin's led

poem

On the musi-

differentiated.

straight to

Glinka and Tchaikovsky, and I resolutely took up

my position beside

them.

and predilections,

tastes

thus clearly defined

my

opposition to the con-

trary aesthetic, and assumed once


tradition established

dedicated

my

my

more the good

by these masters. Moreover,

work

the

to

of Pushkin,

memory

Glinka, and Tchaikovsky.

At
went

to Anglet,

There

summer

the end of the

London and

I left

near Biarritz, to rejoin

began a task

scription for the piano

which

ments from Petroushka.

I called

my family.

me

which enthralled

a tran-

Three Move-

wanted with

this to pro-

vide piano virtuosi with a piece


having sufficient
scope to enable

them

to

add

to their

modern

reper-

tory and display their technique. After that I be-

gan the composition of Maura, for which a libretto


in verse after Pushkin was
being written by a

young

Russian poet, Boris Kochno.

by

bit as

and

he wrote

it.

He

sent

I liked his verse

appreciated his intelligence


[

me

154

his text bit

very much,

and his literary

STRAVINSKY
and greatly enjoyed my work with him. Later
he became one of DiaghilefPs active collaborators.
gifts

With the approach


ily to interrupt the

of

autumn

work in order

had temporar-

to devote

myself

The Sleeping Beauty, which was to be produced


very soon. When that was finished I went to Lon-

to

don.

There

saw

as presented

by

Diaghileff, that

chef d'ceuvre of Tchaikovsky and Petipa. Diaghileff

had worked

at it passionately

and lovingly, and

once more displayed his profound knowledge of the


art of the ballet.

into

it,

He put

and in the most

all

his soul, all his strength,

disinterested

was here no question of enhancing

way, for there

his reputation as

a pioneer or appealing to the curiosity of the public

by new forms. In presenting something

classical

and

and freedignified he demonstrated the greatness

dom

of his mentality together with a capacity to ap-

preciate not only the values of today


periods, but also

and

this is

and of remote

an extremely rare

the values of the period immediately pre-

quality

ceding our own.


It

was a

tion, not

real joy to

me to

take part in this crea-

only for love of Tchaikovsky but also be[

155

STRAVINSKY
cause of

my profound admiration for classical ballet,

which, in

its

very

donnance and the

of

its

or-

aristocratic austerity of its f orms,

classical

my

with

so closely corresponds

For here, in

by the beauty

essence,,

conception of art.

dancing, I see the triumph of

studied conception over vagueness, of the rule over

the arbitrary, of order over the haphazard. I

am

thus brought face to face with the eternal conflict in


art

between the Apollonian and the Dionysian prin-

ciples.

The latter assumes

that

is

to say,

demands above
ist.

ecstasy to be the final goal

the losing of oneself

all

whereas art

the full consciousness of the art-

There can, therefore, be no doubt as to my choice

between the two.

And

if I

value of classical ballet,


taste

on

my part,

appreciate so highly the

it is

not simply a matter of

but because

I see exactly in it

the

perfect expression of the Apollonian principle.

The

first

performances of The Sleeping Beauty,

which had been created by


brilliant success, and the public

the lavish setting of

Leon

had

Bakst,

thronged

to

it.

Unfortunately, the enormous sums

invested in the undertaking compelled the theatrical

management
at last there

to

continue

its

run for months, until

were not enough people


[

156

left to fill

the

STRAVINSKY
theatre,

and

it

became necessary

to

withdraw

it.

But

the last night, as I learned later, was a veritable

triumph the audience would not go away, and there


was great difficulty in emptying the building.
;

157

^VVVU-VU/VVVWVVVIVVVV^^

7
AFTER THE
Biarritz,

few performances

first

where

with

I settled

returned to

my family and where

we

stayed for the next three years. There I

all

the winter at Mavra.


It

was

at this

time that

worked

my connection with the

Company began. They had suggested that I


should make a transcription of my works for their

Pleyel

Pleyela mechanical piano.

to

My interest in the work was twofold. In order


prevent the distortion of my compositions by
had always been anxious to
a means of imposing some restriction on the no-

future interpreters, I
find

torious liberty, especially widespread today,

which

from obtaining a correct idea of


intentions. This possibility was now

prevents the public

the author's
afforded

by the

rolls of

the mechanical piano, and,

little later,

by gramophone records.
The means enabled me to determine
[

158

for the

STRAVINSKY
future the relationships of the movements
(tempi)
and the nuances in accordance with
wishes. It is

my

true that this guaranteed


nothing,, and in the ten

years which have since elapsed I have, alas! had

ample opportunity of seeing how ineffective it has


proved in practice. But these transcriptions nevertheless enabled

me

which should be of

create a lasting

to

document

service to those executants

would rather know and follow

my

who

intentions than

stray into irresponsible interpretations of

my musi-

cal text.

There was a second direction in which

work gave me

satisfaction.

this

This was not simply the

reduction of an orchestral work to the limitations of

a piano of seven octaves.


tation to

was the process of adapan instrument which had, on the one hand,

unlimited

possibilities

It

of precision, velocity, and

polyphony, but which, on the other hand, constantly


presented serious
relationships.

difficulties

in establishing dynamic

These tasks developed and exercised

my imagination by constantly presenting new problems of an instrumental nature closely connected


with the questions of acoustics, harmony, and part
writing.

159

STRAVINSKY
was a

It

travel a

good

deal.

hearsals of

winter for me,

had

as I

Mavra and

and

had

Renard.,

to attend the re-

which were

just go-

be produced by Diaghileff at the Paris Opera

to

House., thanks to the generous help of Princess

mond

to

My work at Pleyel's entailed fre-

visits to Paris,

quent

ing

restless

Ed-

de Polignac.

This necessitated several

visits to

Monte

Carlo,

where the choreography of Renard was being created by Bronislava Nijinska, sister of the famous
dancer and herself an excellent dancer endowed with
a profoundly artistic nature, and, in contrast to her
brother, gifted with a real talent for choreographic
creation.

Diaghileff and I also confided to her the direction of the artists acting in

Mavra

as

and movement. She had marvelous

regards plastic
ideas,

which

were unfortunately balked by the inability of the


singers to subject themselves to a technique
cipline in the practice of
It

and

dis-

which they were unversed.

was quite different with Renard.

I still

deeply

which gave me the greatsatisfaction both musically (the music was under

regret that the production,


est

the direction of Ansermet) and scenically (the seen-

160

STRAVINSKY
ery and costumes were by Larionov and were one
of his greatest successes)

that form. Nijinska

has never been revived in

had admirably

seized the spirit

mountebank buffoonery. She displayed such a


wealth of ingenuity, so many fine points, and so
of

its

much
She

satirical

verve that the effect was

herself, playing the part of

irresistible.

Renard, created an

unforgettable figure.

Mavra had
soiree given
I

first

its

by Diaghileff

myself accompanied

concert production at a
at the

it at

the piano.

formance of Mavra and Renard

was on June

5, 1

Hotel Continental.

The

first

at the Paris

per-

Op&ra

922.

by the disaspoor Mavra and

Alas! I was deeply disappointed


trous surroundings in
little

which

my

Renard found themselves. Being a part

Ballet Russe program,

dwarfed when

my

two intimate

sandwiched between

acts

of a

were

spectacular

which formed the repertory of Diaghileff's


season and were the special attraction for the gen-

pieces

eral public. This crushing environment, the enor-

mous framework

of the opera house, and also the

of the
mentality of the audience, composed mainly

famous abonnes,

all

combined

161

to

make my two

little

STRAVINSKY
pieces, especially

Mavra, seem out of

place.

Though

the Polish conducvery conscientiously executed by


tor Fitelberg, alternating at that time with Anser-

met

Mavra was

in the repertory of the Ballet Russe,

of mine, and a
regarded as a disconcerting freak

Such was

also the attitude of all

downright

failure.

the

notably those of the pre-war

critics.,

left.

They

condemned the whole thing then and there, attachit as uning no importance to it, and regarding
Only a few musicians
of the younger generation appreciated Mavra, and
realized that it marked a turning point in the evoluworthy of

closer examination.

my musical thought.
For my own part, I was

tion of

glad to see that I had

completely succeeded in realizing

my musical ideas,

and was therefore encouraged to develop them further


to

this

compose
I

what

time in the domain of symphony. I began

my

began

its

Octuor pour Instruments a Vent.

to write this

sound

music without knowing

medium would be

what instrumental form

it

would

cided that point after finishing the


I

saw

clearly

that
take. I
first

is

to say,

only de-

part,

when

what ensemble was demanded by the


[

162

STRAVINSKY
contrapuntal material, the character, and structure
of

what

My

had composed.
special interest in

wind instruments in

when

various combinations had been roused

composing Symphonies a

and

this interest

la

was

Memoire de Debussy,

had continued

ensuing period. Thus ; after

to

grow during the

had, in these

Sym-

phonies, used the ordinary wind orchestra (wood and


brass)

added in Mavra double basses and violon-

cellos and,, episodically, a little trio of

and

two violins

viola.

Having again used a wind ensemble

for

cham-

ber music in the Octuor, I later undertook the composition of

my

Concerto, which, as regards color,

yet another combination


orchestra reinforced

that of piano with a

by double

basses

But in speaking of the Concerto


ately

of

is

wind

and timbals.
have deliber-

somewhat overstepped the chronological order

my narrative to

let

the reader see the line of in-

was pursuing at that period, which,


seems to have
looking back now after many years,
constituted a marked epoch in my creative activity.

vestigation that I

This preoccupation with the subject of tone


[

165

STRAVINSKY
material manifested itself also in

my

instrumenta-

tion of Les Noces, which, after long delays,


last to

be produced by Diaghileff

While

still

at

forms of instrumentation,
chestra,

which

Morges

of

gave up almost

at

had

first

was

tried out various


all

at

for a large or-

once in view of

the elaborate apparatus that the complexity of that

form demanded.

I next sought for a solution in a

which required
a mechanical piano and

smaller ensemble. I began a score

massed polyphonic effects


an electrically driven harmonium, a section of per:

cussion instruments, and two

But there

Hungarian cymbalons.
was balked by a fresh obstacle, namely,

the great difficulty for the conductor of synchroniz-

ing the parts executed by instrumentalists and singers with those rendered by the mechanical
players.

was thus compelled to abandon this idea also, although I had already orchestrated the first two
I

work which had demanded a

scenes in that way,

great deal of strength and patience, but


all

pure

which was

loss.

I did

not touch Les Noces again for nearly four

years, so busy

was

Diaghileff put off

with more urgent matters, and

its

production from year to year.

164

STRAVINSKY
It

at the

me

was

be staged

at last decided that it should

beginning of June

925, and Diaghileff asked

with the rehearsals

to help Bronislava Nijinska

of her choreography at

Monte

April. But the essential thing

Carlo in

was

March and

to find a solution

for the instrumental ensemble, and that I kept put-

ting off in the hope that

when

it

would come of

the definite fixing of a date for the

formance should make


fact, is

it

what happened.

tained, that

would be

is to

imperative.

saw

first

And

that, in

by an ensemble

my

form

work

consisting

exclusively of percussion instruments. I thus

my solution in the

per-

clearly that the sus-

say souffld* elements in

best supported

itself

found

of an orchestra comprising

piano, timbals, bells, and xylophones, none of

which

instruments gives a precise note.

Such a sound combination in Les Noces was


the necessary outcome of the music
in no wise suggested

by a

itself,

desire to imitate the sounds

of popular fetes of this kind,

which

neither seen nor heard. It was in this


I

had composed

and it was

my music

had, indeed,

spirit, too,

that

without borrowing any-

1 The elements
produced by the breath, as the "wind" in an instrumental ensemble.

165

STRAVINSKY
thing,

from folk music with the exception of the

theme of a factory song which

used several times

in the last scene, with different words ("I have gold

my waist" "The beautiful well-

that hangs

down to

made bed

the beautiful square bed")

themes,

and melodies were of

airs,

All the other

my own

inven-

tion.

I set

myself

to

work on the instrumentation

the end of the winter, while


finished

it

on April 6

still

at Biarritz,

Monaco.

at

at

and

must say that

the stage production of Les Noces, though obviously

one of talent, did not correspond with


plan. I

had pictured

to

my

original

myself something quite dif-

ferent.

According to

my idea, the spectacle should have

been a divertissement, and that


to call

it.

It

was not

my

is

what

wanted

intention to reproduce the

ritual of peasant weddings,

and

ethnographical considerations.

I paid little

heed to

My idea was to com-

pose a sort of scenic ceremony, using as I liked those


ritualistic

elements so abundantly provided

lage customs

which had been

turies in the celebration of

my inspirations

by

vil-

established for cen-

Russian marriages.

took

from those customs, but reserved


[

166

to

STRAVINSKY
myself the right to use them with absolute freedom.

by the same reasons as in UHistoire d'un


I wanted all my instrumental apparatus to

Inspired
Soldaty

be

visible side

making

it,

by

side

with the actors or dancers,

so to speak, a participant in the

theatrical action.

For

this reason,, I

the orchestra on the stage

move on the
artists

wished

itself, letting

space remaining free.

The

whole

to place

the actors

fact that the

in the scene would uniformly wear costumes

of a Russian character while the musicians

would

be in evening dress not only did not embarrass me,


but,

on the contrary, was perfectly in keeping with

my idea of a divertissement of the masquerade type.


But Diaghileff had no sympathy with my
wishes.

how

And when,

to convince

successful the plan

him, I pointed out

had been in L'Histoire d'un

Soldat, I only stimulated his furious resistance be-

cause he could not bear UHistoire.

So

and

all

as I did

my

efforts in that direction

not feel that I had a right to jeopardize

the performance since, after


tion did not

were vain,

all,

the scenic realiza-

compromise my work,

very reluctantly

consented to Diaghileff 's staging.

The

first

performance of Les Noces was given


C

167

STRAVINSKY
on June 13,1 923 ?

at the

The&tre de la Gait4 Lyrique

was admirably conducted by Ansermet,


and became one of the most remarkable triumphs of

in Paris.

It

his conducting.

The framework

of the decor

clusively of backcloths,

with just

was composed exa few details of a

Russian peasant cottage interior, and both coloring

and lighting were very successful. Natalie Goncharova was responsible for it and also for the cos;

tumes very ingeniously simplified and made uniform.

The
by a

first

night of Les Noces had been preceded

private audition in concert

of Princess

Edmond

de Polignac,

an opportunity of showing
sympathy.

An

me

form

at the

house

who never missed


her affection and

excellent musician, of

wide culture,

a painter endowed with undeniable talent, she en-

couraged and was the patron of

artists

and the

arts.

always gratefully remember the evenings at


her house where I played several of my new creaI shall

tions.,

such as

beside Les Noces

my

my

Soldat,

Concerto.,

dedicated to her)

UHistoire d'un

piano Sonate

CEdipus Rez, and

(which

is

so forth.

In August of that same year I went on a short


[

168

STRAVINSKY
visit to

Weimar,

at the invitation of the


organizers

of a very fine exhibition of

modern

architecture

(Bauhaus}, in the course of which there was a

series

of musical performances; including,

other

things, the presentation of


It

among

my Histoire d'un Soldat.

had already been given in Germany,, two months

earlier, at

certs of

Frankfort-on-Main, at one of seven con-

modern music (Neue Kammermusik)

or-

ganized in that city with the help of Paul Hindemith.

Weimar was something

My journey to
adventure. In Paris

of

an

could not get a through ticket.

All I could obtain was a ticket to the station where


the zone of occupation began, a
Frankfort. It was quite late

little

way from

when I reached the little

which was occupied by African soldiers with


fixed bayonets. I was told that at that hour there was
station,

no means of communication with Frankfort, and


that I

must wait

till

daylight, contenting myself

till

then with the bench in the waiting room, which


was, moreover, already crowded to overflowing. I

wanted

at first to look for

was warned that

it

a bed in the village, but

would be risky

to

dark because of the vigilance of the


[

169

go out in the
sentries,

who

STRA FINSKY
might mistake me for a vagrant. It was so dark that
I had to abandon the idea and stay at the station,
counting the hours

till

dawn.

It

was not

till

7 A.M.

guided by a child, and after a tramp of half an

that,

hour along rain-soaked roads,


shelter of the tram which took
tion of Frankfort,
I

where

I finally

reached the

me to the

central sta-

found a train

to

have retained one memory, which

Weimar.

is

particu-

me, of my short stay at Weimar, where


the Soldat was very warmly received by the publarly dear to

lic.

made

the acquaintance of Ferruccio


Busoni,

whom I had never met before and who had always


been described to me as an irreconcilable
opponent
of

by

my music.

the sincere

while

was therefore very much impressed


emotion that I saw he was
feeling

was being played, which was confirmed by him that same evening. I was all the more

my music

touched by this appreciation, since

it

came from a

very great musician, whose work and mentality

were fundamentally opposed to the


spirit of my art.
It was
my first and last sight of him ; he died a year
later.

must come back now

position of

to

my

Octuor, the com-

which had been interrupted while


[

170

was

STRAVINSKY
orchestrating Le$ Noces. I finished

and conducted

it

in May., 1925,

myself on October 18 of that year

in the Paris Opera


I

it

House

at a Koussevitzky concert.

remember what an

effort it cost

me

to estab-

an ensemble of eight wind instruments, for they


could not strike the listener's ear with a great dis-

lish

play of tone. In order that this music should reach


the ear of the public

it

was necessary

to

emphasize

the entries of the several instruments, to introduce

breathing spaces between the phrases

(rests)

to

pay

particular care to the intonation, the instrumental

in short, to establish or-

prosody, the accentuation

der and discipline in the purely sonorous scheme to

which

always give precedence over elements of an

emotional character.

was

when

all

the

more

difficult

be-

was only just beginning


a conductor, I had not yet got the neces-

cause at that time,

my career as

It

sary technique, which

acquired later only with

And, for that matter, the


themselves were unaccustomed to
practice.

instrumentalists
this

treating the art of playing because,

method of

all told,

very

few conductors employ it.


In January I went to Antwerp, having been invited by La Societ des Nouveaux Concerts to con[

171

STRAVINSKY
duct a program of

went to

Brussels,,

my

earlier works.

there I

where the Pro Arte Society had or-

of
ganized a concert

my

known under

Quartet

From

music.

that

The

celebrated

name (MM. A. On-

with
R. Maas)
nou, L. Halleux, G. Provost, and
its usual masterly seriousness played my Concertino

my Trois Petites Pieces pour Quatuor a Cordes,


while I myself conducted my Octuor, La Suite de
Pulcinella, and my opera, Maura, the vocal parts of
and

which had been carefully studied and prepared by


the singers before my arrival with the help of that
enthusiastic Belgian musician,
all

Paul Collaer.

these details because I retain a grateful

I give

memory

of the Pro Arte group for this concert, organized in


a highly artistic fashion,
sent

my

which

me

to pre-

work, especially Maura, under conditions

I could

In

which enabled

this

not have wished better.

connection I must mention here the

concert performance of

Wiener, who had

Maura

at that

first

a year earlier. Jean

time arranged a series of

auditions of contemporary music in Paris,

on De-

cember 26, 1922, gave a concert consisting exclusively of

my music,

including

my Symphonies pour

Instruments a Vent and Maura, conducted


by Anser[

172

STRAVINSKY
met. This time also the conditions provided were

which are

those

essential if the

and appreciated by the

My
going

to

music

is to "be

heard

public.

Belgium had prevented me from


Monte Carlo, where Diaghileff was then
visit to

giving a season of French operas which


lected together ?

and

we had

to the production of

se-

which he

devoted the utmost care. In the winter of 1922


1

923

I often

went

to the small

Trianon Lyrique, a

modest and charming theatre of long standing.


Louis Masson,

its

director,

was a

serious musician

and excellent conductor, with a firm baton and very

He gave unpretentious performances there


which were perfectly executed. He deserves gratifine taste.

tude for the courage with which he put on works of

high musical value which the

official

alas! cast aside as old-fashioned

theatres had,

and no longer

at-

tractive to the general public. This attitude of the

great theatres

is

all

the

more

deplorable in that,

while depriving well-informed musicians of


ble enjoyment,

it lets slip

infalli-

an opportunity for educat-

ing the public and directing their taste in a favorable direction. For

my own part, I took great pleasure

in these performances,

especially

Cimarosa's

Le

STRAVINSKY
Philemon

Secret Mariage and Gounod's

In hearing

et Baucis.

opera I once again experienced

this latter

the charm which emanates from the intimate


of Gounod's music. Diaghileff was as

with

it

as I was,

his

through

and

this

much

aroma
in love

gave us the idea of looking

works in the hope of finding forgotten

pieces.

We

thus discovered the short "but delicious

comic opera. La Colombe, written for the theatre at

Baden-Baden in the reign of Napoleon

III,

and we

found also that little masterpiece, Le Medecin Malgre


Lui. Diaghileff also happened to run across
cation

Manquee, a charming piece by Chabrier. His

great importance

own

L'du-

compatriots,

is still

who

not fully appreciated

persist in treating

kindly indulgence, seeing in

an amusing and

by

his

him with

him nothing more than

lively amateur. It

is

clear that ears

corrupted by emotional and sentimental verbiage,

and inoculated with academic doctrine (which, however, is less serious) , cannot but remain deaf to the
quality of such a real pearl as

Lui, which has against

it

Le Medecin Malgr&

the misfortune of being

purely music.

As

I said

before, I had not had a chance of see[

174

STRAVINSKY
ing the Gounod operas which Diaghileff was pro-

ducing at Monte Carlo.

know only that

the public

had proved indifferent to those performances and


had not appreciated my friend's gesture. In their
uncultured snobbishness the greatest fear of these
people was lest they should appear to be behind the
times

they showed enjoyment for music stupidly

if

condemned by the publicity-mongers of what was


once the advance guard. I was myself a witness of
this foolish attitude of the
public at the first per-

formance of U&ducation Manquee during the


Russian Ballet season at the Champsfilys6es. The
title

was

ironic, for the audience displayed a

plete lack of education.

nothing but

ballets

Being accustomed

com-

to see

at Diaghileff's performances,

they considered that they were swindled in having


to see an opera, however short, and indicated their
impatience by interruptions and cries of "Dance,

was nauseating. It is only fair to say that


these interruptions came for the most part from outdance."

siders,

It

who were

foreign accent.
listens

easily recognized as such

And to think that this same

by

their

audience

devoutly and with angelic patience to the edi-

fying harangues of King


[

Mark

175

endlessly reiterated

STRAVINSKY
performances under the baton of some

at official gala

star conductor!

Side

by

had wanted

side

with forgotten works, Diaghileff

to present in that season the

music of

composers belonging to the young French school, by


giving ballets which he had commissioned from

them. These included Georges Auric's Les Fdcheux,


the music of which

is

and pungency,
scenery and costumes by

full of verve

with the -unforgettable

Georges Braque; Francis Poulenc's youthful and


tender Biches, in the delicate framework designed

by Marie Laurencin^ and,

finally,

Darius Milhaud, with

lively sporting pace.

its

Le Train Bleu by

The

admirably successful choreography of these three


ballets

came from Bronislava Nijinska's inexhausti-

ble talent.

gives

me

The performance was

brilliant,

and

it

great pleasure to mention here such ad-

mirable executants as Vera


Nemtchinova, Leon

Woizikovsky, and Anton Dolin.

176

^WWWVVVIWA/W/VIAV^^

MY

CONCERTS

in Belgium, followed in

several at Barcelona

the beginning of

and Madrid,, mark,

my career as

March by

so to speak,

executant of

my own

works. In fact I had that year a whole series of en-

gagements in various towns in Europe and the


United States, and had not only to conduct my own
compositions, but also to play

and orchestra, which

While on

had

my Concerto for piano

just finished.

this subject, I

ought

to say that the

idea of playing ray Concerto myself was suggested

by Koussevitzky, who happened to be at Biarritz


when I was finishing its composition. I hesitated at
first,

my

fearing that I should not have time to perfect

technique as a pianist, to practice enough, and

to acquire the

endurance necessary to execute a work

demanding sustained

effort.

But

as I

am by

nature

always tempted by anything needing prolonged


effort,

and prone

to persist in

177

overcoming
]

difficulties,,

STRAVINSKY
and

as, also,

the prospect of creating

my

work for

the manner in which


myself and thus establishing
I wished it to be played, greatly attracted me, these
,

influences combined to induce


I

me

to

undertake

of
began ? therefore, the loosening

it.

my fingers

which was not


playing a lot of Czerny exercises,
musical pleasure.
only very useful but gave me keen
I have always admired Czerny, not only as a re-

ty

markable teacher but

also as a

thoroughbred musi-

cian.

While learning by heart the piano part of my


Concerto., I had simultaneously to accustom myself
to keep in

mind and hear the various parts

chestra, so that

of the or-

my attention should not be distracted

was playing. For a novice like myself this


was hard work, to which I had to devote many hours

-while I

<every day.

My

first

public performance of the Concerto

took place at the Paris Op&ra on


vitzky concert, after I

May 22 at a Kousse-

had played

it

week

earlier

to an intimate gathering at the Princess de Poli.gnac's,

with Jean Wiener playing the accompani-

ment on

a piano.

At the beginning of
C

my career as a piano solo-

178

STRAVINSKY
1st I

naturally suffered from stage fright, and for a

long time I had a good deal of difficulty in over-

coming

was only by habit and sustained

It

managed, in time,

that I
so to

it.

to

master

my

effort

nerves and

withstand one of the most distressing sensa-

know. In analyzing the cause of this


stage fright, I have come to the conclusion that it is
chiefly due to fear of a lapse of memory or of some

tions that I

distraction,

however

trifling,

which might have

ir-

reparable consequences. For the slightest gap, even


a

mere wavering,

risks

giving rise to a fatal discord-

ance between the piano and the orchestral body,

which obviously cannot, in any circumstances, hold


the

movement

ber at

my

of

first

its

own

remem-

debut being seized by just such a

lapse of

memory, though

results.

Having

it

fortunately had no dire

finished the first part of

certo, just before

with a piano

part in suspense.

my

Con-

beginning the Largo which opens

solo, I

suddenly realized that

had en-

how it started. I whispered this to


He glanced at the score and whispered

tirely forgotten

Koussevitzky.
the

first notes.

That was enough

ance and enable

me

Incidentally, I

to attack the

to restore

my bal-

Largo.

must mention a flying

visit that

STRAVINSKY
I

paid to Copenhagen, such a cheerful town in sum-

mer, which

went

ways with the same


at the Tivoli at

to several times later,

pleasure. I played

my

and

al-

Concerto

one of the summer season symphony

concerts.

When

returned to Biarritz I had to arrange

our removal

where

to Nice,

had decided

because the Atlantic gales got on

The

cially in winter.

Biarritz

were devoted

my

nerves, espe-

few months of

last

to live,

my

stay at

the composition of

to

my

Sonale pour Piano.


After the Octuor and the Concerto,
est

my

inter-

was completely and continuously absorbed in

thoughts of instrumental music pure and simple,

untrammeled by any scenic consideration. The recent task of writing the piano parts of

my

and Noces had greatly stimulated

keenness for

my

Concerto

that instrument. I therefore decided to


compose a
piece for pianoforte solo in several movements. This

was

my Sonate.

ever, giving

in dementi,

knows,

is

it

gave

it

that

name

without,

form such

the classical

Haydn, Mozart, which,

conditioned

term sonata in

its

by

original

as

as

we

how-

find

it

everyone

the allegro. I used the

meaning

180

deriving from

STRAVINSKY
whence

sonare, in contrast to cantare,

using the term ; therefore,


as restricted

cantata. In

not regard myself

I did

by any predetermined form.

But, though determined to retain full liberty


in composing this work, I had, while engaged on

a strong desire to examine

more

it,

closely the sonatas

of the classical masters in order to trace the direction

and development of their thought in the

tion of the problems presented

therefore replayed,

many

by

solu-

that form.

among

others, a great

of Beethoven's sonatas. In our early youth

we

were surfeited by his works, his famous Weltschmerz


being forced upon us at the same time, together

with his "tragedy" and

all

the commonplace utter-

more than a century about this


composer who must be recognized as one of the
ances voiced for

world's greatest musical geniuses.

Like

many other musicians, I was

this intellectual
little to

and sentimental

disgusted

attitude,

by

which had

do with serious musical appreciation. This

deplorable pedagogy did not fail in


alienated

its

result.

It

me from Beethoven for many years.

Cured and matured by age, I could now approach him objectively so that he wore a different
[

181

STRA FINSKY
aspect for me.

disputable

Above

monarch

all I

recognized in

him

of the instrument. It

is

the inthe in-

strument that inspires his thought and determines its


substance.

The

composer to his sound

relations of a

medium may be

of two kinds. Some, for example,

compose music for the piano others compose piano


$

music. Beethoven

In

all his

mental"

is

immense

pianistic

which

side

makes him

clearly in the second category.

work,

it is

the "instru-

him and

characteristic of

is

infinitely precious to

me.

It is

instrumentalist that predominates in him,

the giant

and

it is

thanks to that quality that he cannot fail to reach

any ear that


But

is

is it

open

to music.

in truth Beethoven's music

which has

inspired the innumerable works devoted to this pro-

digious musician
sociologists

by

thinkers, moralists,

and even

who have suddenly become musicogra-

phers? In this connection I should like to quote the


following passage taken from an article in the great
Soviet daily, Izvestia:

"Beethoven

is

the friend and the contemporary

of the French Revolution,


to it

and he remained faithful

even at the time when,


during the Jacobin dic-

tatorship, humanitarians

with weak nerves of the

182

STRAVINSKY
Schiller type turned

from

it,

preferring to destroy

tyrants on the theatrical stage with the help of card-

board swords. Beethoven, that plebeian genius, who-

proudly turned his back on emperors, princes, and


that

magnates

is

the Beethoven

we

love for his -un-

assailable optimism, his virile sadness, for the in-

and for

spired pathos of his struggle,

which enabled him

to seize destiny

his iron will

by the

throat.

""

This chef d'ceuvre of penetration comes from the

pen of one of the most famous of the musical


in the U.S.S.R. I should like to

know

in

mentality differs from the platitudes and

critics

what

this

common-

place utterances of the publicity-mongers of liberal-

ism in

all

the bourgeois democracies long before the

social revolution in Russia.

do not

mean

to

say that everything that has

been written on Beethoven in

same

this sense is of the

quality. But, in the majority of these works,

do not the panegyrists base their adulation far more

on the sources of his inspiration than on the music


itself?

Could they have

filled their fat

volumes

if

they had not been able to embroider to their hearts'


content

all

the extramusical elements available in

183

STRAVINSKY
the Beethoven life and legend, drawing their con-

and judgments on the artist from them?


What does it matter whether the Third Sym-

clusions

phony was

inspired

by the figure

of Bonaparte the

Republican or Napoleon the Emperor?

It is

music that matters. But to talk music

is

entails responsibility.

you

to pass as a

is

easy,

it

me

and enables

Mallarm6 and Degas which


is

had from

well known, liked to

dabble in poetry, one day said to Mallarm6

manage

prefer-

of the account of a conversa-

Paul Valery. Degas, who, as

not

and

deep thinker.

This reminds
tion between

risky,

Therefore some find

able to seize on side issues. It

only the

the end of

my sonnet,

and

am wanting in ideas."

it is

"I can-

not that

Mallarm6, softly "It is not


with ideas that one makes sonnets, but with words."
So

it is

with Beethoven.

his musical material

in the quality of

and not in the nature of his

ideas that his true greatness


It is

It is

lies.

time that this was recognized, and Bee-

thoven was rescued from the unjustifiable


monopoly
of the "intellectuals" and left to those

who

seek in

music for nothing but music. It is,


however,
time and this is perhaps even more
urgent
[

184

also
to

STRAVINSKY
protect

who

him from

think

themselves

it

up

the stupidity and drivel of fools


to date to
giggle as

they amuse

by running him down. Let them beware

dates pass quickly.

Just as in his pianistic

work Beethoven lives on

the piano, so ; in his symphonies,


overtures, and

chamber music, he draws


instrumental ensemble.
tion

is

his sustenance

With him

never apparel, and that

is

from

the instrumenta-

why it never strikes

The profound wisdom with which he

one.

utes parts

to

his

distrib-

instruments or to whole

separate

groups, the carefulness of his instrumental writing,

and the precision with which he indicates


all

these testify to the fact that

we

his wishes

are above all

in the presence of a tremendous constructive force.


I

that

it

do not think that I

was

just his

am mistaken

manner

in asserting

of molding his musical

material which logically led to the erection of those

monumental

structures

which are his supreme

glory.

There are those who contend that Beethoven's


instrumentation was bad and his tone color poor.
Others altogether ignore that side of his

ing that instrumentation


that only "ideas" are

is

hold-

a secondary matter and

worthy of
185

art,

consideration.

STRAVINSKY
The former demonstrate

their lack of taste,

their complete incompetence in this respect,

and

narrow and mischievous mentality. In contrast


with the florid orchestration of a Wagner, with its
their

lavish coloring, Beethoven's instrumentation will ap-

pear to lack luster.

It

might produce

a similar

im-

radiance of
pression if compared with the vivacious

Mozart. But Beethoven's music

up with

is

intimately linked

his instrumental language,

and

finds its

most exact and perfect expression in the sobriety of


that language.

To regard

it

as poverty-stricken

would merely show lack of perception. True sobriety


is

a great rarity, and most difficult of attainment.

As

for those

who

attach no importance to Bee-

thoven's instrumentation, but ascribe the whole of


his greatness to his "ideas"
all

they obviously regard

instrumentation as a mere matter of apparel,

coloring, flavoring,

and

so fall,

though following a

same heresy as the others.


Both make the same fundamental error of re-

different path, into the

garding instrumentation as something extrinsic from


the music for which

it exists.

This dangerous point of view concerning instrumentation, coupled with the unhealthy greed
[

186

STRAVINSKY
for orchestral opulence of today, has
corrupted the

judgment of the public, and they, being impressed


by the immediate effect of tone color, can no longer
solve the

problem of whether

it is

intrinsic in the

music or simply "padding." Orchestration has be-

come a source

of enjoyment independent of the

music, and the time has surely come to put things in


their proper places.

We have had enough of this or-

and these thick

chestral dappling

of

proportion and giving

all

own. There

is

by swelling it out

an existence of

it

field.

All these ideas were


germinating in

was composing

ing

my

sonata and once

my contact with Beethoven.

had

went

me

while

more renew-

Their development

has continued from that time to


is full

its

a great deal of reeducation to be ac-

complished in this

is

overfeeding, which deforms the

all this

entity of the instrumental element

of

one

with timbres, and wants no

tired of being saturated

more

sonorities 5

this,

and

my mind

of them.

had hardly

to

settled

down

in the Riviera

when

undertake a concert tour in central Europe.

first to

Warsaw and Prague then

and Berlin, where

played

187

my
]

to

Leipzig

Concerto, accom-

STRAVINSKY
panied by Furtwangler. I also gave a concert at the
Bliithnersaal in Berlin, where,
I conducted

my

among

Octuor. After that I

other things,

went

to

Hol-

was hospitably welcomed at the Concertgebouw of Amsterdam by its eminent conductor, Willand. I

lem Mengelberg, and

played

my

his direction at a concert, repeated

The Hague, and shared the


him on another occasion.
Then

went

two days later at

conductor's baton with

Geneva and

to

Concerto under

to

Lausanne

to

my own compositions and to play under the


direction of Ansermet. I finished my circuit with a
conduct

concert at Marseilles.
I

had

to leave

Europe soon afterwards for a

comparatively long time, as I had signed a contract


for a concert tour of two
States. It

was

my first

months in the United

crossing of the Atlantic.

Without stopping to describe my visual impressions on landing in New York


skyscrapers,
traffic, lights,

negroes, cinemas, theatres, in fact all

that rouses the curiosity of


foreigners,

rightly so

musician

by

side

want

to

and very

begin by bearing witness as a

to the fact that

in the United States, side

with a pronounced weakness for the freakish


[

188

STRAVINSKY
and the

sensational., I

found a real

of music, as manifested

taste for the art

by the many

societies de-

voted to musical culture and by the magnificent orchestras munificently

individ-

In this respect the United States reminded

uals.

of

endowed by private

Germany and

Russia. I received the warmest

most hospitable welcome from musical

me
and

societies,

amateurs, and patrons, notably from Clarence H.

Mackay, at whose invitation I had gone and who


was at that time president of the New York Philharmonic.

The

public was already acquainted with

my

most frequently performed works, which they had


heard in many concerts, but what was a novelty was
to see

me in the roles of pianist and conductor.

ing by

received, I flattered myself that I

undoubted

success.

been ascribed

now,

Judg-

the full houses and the acclamations which I

after

But

at that

had achieved an

time

it

might have

my

to the attraction of novelty. It is

only

recent tour in that country, that I

am

convinced of the solid foundation on which the

American

public's interest in

my music rests.

This time, moreover, I was fully conscious of


the approval of

my manner
[

189

of rendering

my works

STRA V IN SKI
even by
ing. I

accustomed

critics

to

new-fangled conduct-

was glad that my ten years of

effort in acquir-

ing the proficiency necessary to present


the

way

I desired

derstanding of
cans in music

it.

is

was rewarded by the public un-

The

serious interest of the

displayed,

among

judicious selection of those to


instruction.

come

to

A large

number

other ways, in the

whom
of

Ameri-

they apply for

young people have

France to complete their musical education

war

indeed, since the


tradition

my works in

this has

become almost a

and have found invaluable teachers in

Nadia Boulanger and Isidore Philipp.

had the

pleasure of meeting a whole series of their pupils,

some performers and some teachers


themselves, all
musicians of solid knowledge and
unerring taste,
who, on returning

to their

own

country, were en-

gaged in spreading the excellent musical culture


which they had acquired under these eminent masand in successfully
combating pernicious influences and base amateurishness.

ters,

hope some day

to

have an opportunity of
say-

ing more about this second

and

to express

more

fully

visit to the

my

190

United

States,

sympathy with, and


]

STRAVINSKY
cordial attachment to, this

new, hardy, naive, yet

immense country.
Returning
briefly

to

New York

I visited. I

my

began

Philharmonic, where

conducted in several concerts and played

my Con-

under the direction of Mengelberg,

as, later,

certo
I

tour in 1925, I will

first

enumerate the towns

itinerary with the


I

my

played in Boston under Koussevitzky and, in Chi-

cago,

under the veteran Stock. Then followed Phila-

delphia, Cleveland, Detroit,

and Cincinnati.

and grateful memory of Chifriend Carpenter and his now lamented

I retain a vivid

cago.

wife

My

Rue gave me

the warmest of welcomes, and ar-

ranged a dinner in

my

honor, which was followed

by a concert of chamber music at the Arts Club


which Mrs. Carpenter was president.

As
Concerto

was "under an engagement


at

necessary for

the Philadelphia

me to

to

play

Orchestra,

return to that

city,

it

of

my
was

and in some-

what unusual circumstances. Having been detained


in the country, I could not reach Philadelphia until

the afternoon of the very day of

my concert.

More-

over, the guest conductor, Fritz Reiner, of Cincin-

191

STRA VINSK?
who was to accompany me in place of Leopold
Stokowski, who was away just then, had barely

nati,

time to rehearse the program for the evening, as he


himself had arrived only that morning. Most conductors devote several rehearsals to the preparation

of

my Concerto,

half an hour.

but on this occasion

And

it

barely

there was a miracle. There

not a single hitch.

played

we had

It

was

as

was

though Reiner had

time and again with that orchestra. Such

an extraordinary phenomenon could never have occurred, notwithstanding the prodigious technique of

the conductor and the


high quality of the orchestra,

Reiner had not acquired a perfect


knowledge of
my score, which he had procured some time before.
if

One

could aptly apply to

he has the

score in his

him

the familiar
saying

head and not

his

head in the

score.
I

have told this

America are

to

little

story to

show that in

be found musicians of the


highest

rank, such as Fritz Reiner, whose value ought to be


far more highly
appreciated than it is. But they are
relegated to the background, overshadowed

fame and bulk of celebrated

whom

by the

orchestral "stars" for

the public evinces herd


enthusiasm, failing
[

192

STRA VINSKY
to note that their

aim

to outshine

is

one another in

the pursuit of personal triumphs, and generally at


the expense of the music.

As soon

as I

returned to Europe,

had to go

to

Barcelona to conduct a festival of three concerts devoted to

my music. On my

arrival I

had an amus-

ing surprise, which I shall never forget. Among


those who came to meet me at the station there was
a very likable

little

journalist

who, in interviewing

his amiability to the pitch of saying,

me, carried

"Barcelona awaits you with impatience. Ah,


only

if

you

knew how we love your Scheherazade and your

D arises du Prince Igor!" I had not the heart to undeceive him.

music was given in


April at the Augusteo in Rome, under the direction
of Molinari, at which I played my Concerto, and

Another

where that
oulos,

festival of

my

sang at

Mme

Vera Janacopa concert of chamber music under my

excellent vocalist,

direction.

When I returned to

my

Ragtime

at the

Paris in

May,

I conducted

Op&ra and replayed

certo at a Koussevitzky concert of

my

my

Con-

compositions.

After having seen the performances of the Ballet


[

193

STRA FINSKY
Russe, which had put on Pulcinella and the Chant

du Rossignol

in a

new

turned to Nice for the

my many

version

by Massine,

summer months,

I re-

to rest after

journeys and to devote myself afresh to

composition.

In America I had arranged with a gramophone

firm to

records of some of

make

my

music. This

suggested the idea that I should compose something

whose length should be determined by the capacity of the record. I should in that

trouble of cutting and adapting.

my Serenade en LA
I

had

started

last portion,

tion.

it

pour Piano came to be written.

as early as April,

and

now

at

title

beginning with the

Nice resumed

The four movements

united under the

way avoid all the


And that is how

its

composi-

constituting the piece are

Serenade, in imitation of the

Nachtmusik of the eighteenth century, which was


usually commissioned by patron princes for various
festive occasions,

indeterminate

and included,

number

as did

the suites, an

of pieces.

Whereas these compositions were written for


ensembles of instruments of greater or
tance, I

wanted

to

less

impor-

condense mine into a small

num-

ber of movements for one polyphonic instrument.


[

194

STRAVINSKY
In these pieces
cal

moments

represented some of the most typi-

of this kind of musical fete. I

with a solemn entry, a sort of

by

a solo of ceremonial

hymn

began

this I followed

homage paid by

the artist to

the guests, the third part, rhythmical and sustained,


took the place of the various kinds of dance music
intercalated in accordance with the

manner

of the

serenades and suites of the period ; and I ended with

a sort of epilogue which was tantamount to an ornate


signature with numerous carefully inscribed flourishes. I

had a

definite purpose in calling

position Serenade en LA.


its

The

title

tonality, but to the fact that I

com-

my

does not refer to

had made

all

the

music revolve about an axis of sound which happened to be the LA.

Working
not prevent

at this did

me from

that I deserved, and

not tire

me much, and

enjoying a rest which I

did
felt

which included various amuse-

ments, mainly that of motoring about the Riviera.

As soon

as

my Serenade was finished I felt the

necessity for undertaking something big. I

mind an opera

had in

an oratorio on some universally


My idea was that in that way I

or

familiar subject.

could concentrate the whole attention of the audi-

195

STRAVINSKY
by the story, on the music itself ,
which would thus become both word and action.
ence, undistracted

With my thoughts
for Venice,

Sonate

pour

where

full of this project, I started

had been

at the festival of

la

invited to play

the Societ6 Internationale

make

fore returning to Nice.

little

My last

Genoa, and there I happened

took advantage

Musique Contemporaine.

of this opportunity to

my

tour of Italy be-

stopping-place

to find in

was

a bookseller's

by Joergensen on St. Francis of Assisi of


which I had already heard. In reading it I was struck
a volume

by

a passage

which confirmed one of

rooted convictions. It

is

my most deep-

common knowledge

familiar speech of the saint

on solemn occasions, such

that the

was Provengal, but that

as prayer,

he used French.

have always considered that a special language,


and not that of current converse, was required for

subjects touching

on the sublime. That

is

why I was

trying to discover what language would be most appropriate for

my projected work,

selected Latin.

of giving

and

so

from

The

choice

and

why

I finally

had the great advantage

me a medium not dead, but turned to

monumentalized

all risk

as to

have become

of vulgarization.

196

stone

immune

STRAVINSKY
On my return my mind continued to dwell on
my new work, and I decided to take my subject from
the familiar myths of ancient Greece. I thought that
I could not do better for

to

my libretto

to

whom

old friend, Jean Cocteau, of

my

than

appeal

saw a

good deal, as he was then living not far from Nice.


I had been frequently attracted by the idea of collaborating with him. I recall that at one time and

another

we had sketched

out various plans but some-

thing had always arisen to prevent their materialization. I

much

had

just seen his

Antigone, and had been

by the manner in which he had handled


the ancient myth and presented it in modern guise.
struck

Cocteau's stagecraft

excellent.

is

He

has a sense of

values and an eye and feeling for detail which al-

ways become

of

primary importance with him. This

applies alike to the

movements of the

actors, the set-

ting, the costumes, and, indeed, all the accessories.

In the preceding year, too,

had again had an op-

portunity of appreciating these qualities of Cocteau


in

La Machine

so ably

ard,

Infernale, in

which

his efforts

were

seconded by the fine talent of Christian B&r-

who was

responsible for the scenery.

For two months

was in constant touch with


197

STRAVINSKY
Cocteau.

He was

delighted with

my idea

and

set to

We

were in complete agreement in


We kept our
choosing (Edipus Rex as the subject.

work

at once.

a surprise
plans secret, wishing to give Diaghileff
for the twentieth anniversary of his theatrical ac-

which was

tivities,

to

be celebrated in the spring of

1927.

Leaving Cocteau to his task,

undertook another

concert tour at the beginning of November. I

Zurich to play

first to

tion of Dr.

Volkmar Andreae. At Basle

under that of the


I

made

late

my

friend

I played,

I
ist

in

played

From

other things,

my

at

it

there

whose

first suite

from Pulcinella with that ex-

young violinist, Alma Moodie.


then went to Wiesbaden to take part

as solo-

my Concerto at a symphony concert conducted

by Klemperer.
the

Suter.

Werner Reinhart,

among

for violin and piano


cellent

Hermann

direc-

a lightning visit to Winterthur, at the invi-

tation of

house

my Concerto under the

went

first

It

was there that

I got into

touch for

time with this eminent conductor, with

whom later I so

frequently had the opportunity and

pleasure of working. I shall always retain a grateful

and

affectionate

memory
[

of our relations,

198

for I

STRAVINSKY
found in Klemperer not only a devoted
propagandist
of my work, but a forceful
conductor, with a generous nature and intelligence
enough to realize that
in closely following the author's directions there is

no danger of prejudicing one's own


individuality.
After a concert of chamber music in Berlin

went to Frankf ort-on-Main


of two concerts devoted to

to take part in a festival

my music.

My last stage was at Copenhagen, where I was


to conduct a concert at the invitation of the
great

Dagens Nyheder. As the Royal Opera in


Copenhagen had just staged Petroushka, with the
daily,

choreography reconstructed by Michel Fokine himself,

the theatrical management,


availing them-

selves of

my

presence, asked

me

to

conduct one of

the performances. I did so with great pleasure, leav-

ing next day for Paris.

A few

days after

my

arrival I

learn of the loss of a friend to

whom

was grieved to
I was sincerely

was Ernest Oeberg, director of Les


Editions Russes, founded by M. and Mme Kousseattached. This

vitzky,

which had published most of

deeply deplored the

had always had

loss of this

at heart

my

works. I

generous man,

anything touching

199

who

my in-

STRAVINSKY
terests.

Fortunately for

me

he was succeeded by his

collaborator, Gabriel Paitchadz6,

the

work and in

whom

who

still

carries

on

have found a devoted

friend.

Under the influence of


events, I returned to

Nice

200

to

all

these unexpected

spend Christmas.

^A/WVVVVVU/VVWVVVWVVVVUWVVV^

AT THE

opening of the

Cocteau the

first

New

Year

received

from

part of his final version of (Edipus

in the Latin translation of Jean Danielou. I

had

been impatiently awaiting

was

eager to start work. All

for months, as I

it

my

expectations

from Coc-

teau were fully justified. I could not have wished


for a

more

perfect text, or one that better suited

my

requirements.

The knowledge
at school,

of Latin,

but neglected,

to revive as I

alas

which

for

had acquired

many years, began

plunged into the libretto, and, with

the help of the French version, I rapidly familiarized

myself with

it.

As

had fully

anticipated, the events

and characters of the great tragedy came


wonderfully in

this

sumed a statuesque

language, and, thanks to


plasticity

and a

to life
it,

as-

stately bearing

entirely in keeping with the majesty of the ancient

legend.

201

STRAVINSKY
What

a joy

it is

to

compose music

to a lan-

guage of convention, almost of ritual, the very nature of which imposes a lofty dignity! One no longer
dominated by the phrase, the literal meaning
of the words. Cast in an immutable mold which

feels

do not require
adequately expresses their value, they

any further commentary. The

text thus

becomes

purely phonetic material for the composer.

and concentrate

dissect it at will
its

the syllable.

Was

that

can

attention on

all his

primary constituent element

He

is

to say,

on

not this method of treating the

text that of the old masters of austere style? This,


too, has for centuries

been the Church's attitude to-

wards music, and has prevented

it

from

falling into

sentimentalism, and consequently into individualism.

To my great regret,
work in order

to

soon had to interrupt

make another

concert tour. I

my

went

Amsterdam, where, for the first time, I tackled


the Sacre du Printemps^ thence to Rotterdam and
to

Haarlem, and a
Zagreb.

little

later to Budapest,

On my way back to Nice

to see Toscanini,

who was

to

Vienna, and

I stopped at

conduct Le Rossignol

and Petroushka, which the Scala had decided


[

202

Milan

to pro-

STRAVINSKY
duce that spring. While in Vienna, I had read in the

newspapers that the score of Le Rossignol had mysteriously disappeared

from Toscanini's rehearsal

room.

It

appears that during a short absence of Tos-

canini

it

had been taken from his music stand where,

he had been studying it.


Search was immediately made, and it was at last

few minutes

earlier,

found in the shop of an antique dealer, who had just


purchased it from some person unknown. This incident
it

had caused great excitement

had already subsided by the time


Toscanini received

fashion.

He

me

reached Milan.

me

to ac-

the piano in order to give

them

and asked

such instructions as I might think necessary.


struck

but

in the most charming

called the choruses

company them on

at the Scala,

by the deep knowledge he had

was

of the score in

and by his meticulous study of


every work which he undertook to conduct. This
quality of his is universally recognized, but this was
smallest details,

its

the
to

first

time that

one of

had a chance of seeing it applied

my own compositions.

Everyone knows that Toscanini always conducts

from memory. This

is

attributed to his short-

sightedness. But in our days,

203

when
]

the

number

of

STRAVINSKY
showy conductors has

so greatly increased;

though

in inverse ratio to their technical merits and their

general

conducting an orchestra without

culture.,

the score has become the fashion, and


ter of

mere

display.

marvelous about
the

work

is

this

There

often a mat-

however, nothing
apparent tour de force (unless
is,

complicated by changes of tempo or

rhythm, and in such


very good reasons)

cases it

one

away with

it.

is

not done, and for

risks little

cum of assurance and coolness


get

is

and with a modi-

a conductor can easily

does not really prove that he

It

knows the orchestration of the

score.

But there can

be no doubt on that point in the case of Toscanini.

His

memory

is

proverbial; there

is

not a detail that

escapes him, as attendance at one of his rehearsals


is

enough
I

to

demonstrate.

have never encountered in a conductor of

such world repute such a degree of


conscientiousness,,
it is

and

artistic

honesty.

that his inexhaustible


energy

talents should almost

self-eff acement,

and

What

his

a pity

marvelous

always be wasted on such eter-

nally repeated works that no general idea can be


discerned in the composition of his
programs, and
that he should be so
in the selection of

unexacting

204

STRAVINSKY
his

modern

repertory! I do not, however, wish to be

misunderstood. I

am

far

from reproaching Tos-

canini for introducing, let us say, the works of Verdi


into his concerts.
so oftener, since

tion.

By

so

On the

contrary, I wish that he did

he conducts them in

so

doing he might freshen

phonic programs which are

built

pure a tradi-

all

those

symon one pattern and

becoming unbearably moldy. If I am told


that I have chosen my example badly, because Verdi
are

is

all

the author of purely vocal music, I reply that the

Wagnerian fragments which have been

specially

adapted for the concert platform and are forever

being repeated are

also

taken from so-called vocal

works, and are equally devoid of symphonic form in


the proper sense of the term.

Rejoicing in the knowledge that

my work was

in the hands of so eminent a maestro, I returned to

Nice, but only a

month

later I got a telegram

the Scala saying that Toscanini

asking

me

to

fallen

ill

and

conduct the performances myself. I

consented, and went to

May

had

from

and conducted a

Milan

series of

at the

beginning of

performances which

Le Rossignol, with the incomparable Laura Pasini, and Petroushka, staged in the
included

my

opera,

205

STRAVINSKY
best tradition

by the

ballet master,

Romanov.

was

astounded by the high standard and rigorous discipline of the Scala orchestra,
later I enjoyed

making

with which a month

fresh contact when, at the

Count G. Cicogna, president of the

invitation of

Societk de' Ente Concert! Orchestrali, I returned to

Milan again

to

play

my

Concerto.

During the rest of the summer and the followstirred from home,
ing autumn and winter, I hardly
on GLdipus.
being entirely absorbed by my work

The more

deeply I went into the matter the

was confronted by the problem of


all its seriousness.

style in its

narrow

significance, a

am

sense,

style

more

(tenue) in

not here using the word

but

am

giving

much greater range.

it

a larger

Just as Latin,

no

longer being a language in everyday use, imposed a


certain style on
itself

me,

so the

language of the music

imposed a certain convention which would be

able to keep

it

within

strict

bounds and prevent

from overstepping them and wandering

it

into by-

ways, in accordance with those whims of the author

which

had subjected myself


selected a form of language

are often so perilous. I

to this restraint

when

bearing the tradition of ages, a language which


[

206

may

STRAVINSKY
be called homologous.

The need

for restriction, for

deliberately submitting to a style, has

the very depths of our nature, and

is

its

source in

found not only

in matters of art, but in every conscious manifestation of

human

activity. It is the

need for order with-

out which nothing can be achieved, and upon the

disappearance of which everything disintegrates.

Now

all

wrong

On

order demands restraint. But one would be

to

regard that as any impediment to liberty.

the contrary, the style, the restraint, contribute

and only prevent liberty from


license. At the same time, in bor-

to its development,

degenerating into

rowing a form already established and consecrated,


the creative artist

is

not in the least restricting the

manifestation of his personality.


it is

more

On

the contrary,

detached, and stands out better

moves within the

when

it

definite limits of a convention.

me

anodyne and
impersonal formulas of a remote period and to apThis

it

was that induced

ply them largely in

my

to use the

opera-oratorio, (Edipus, to

the austere and solemn character to which they specially lent themselves.

I finished the score

have already

said,

we had
[

on March 14, 1927. As

decided with Cocteau that

207

STRAVINSKY
it

should be heard in Paris for the

Diaghileff

's

first

time,

among

productions on the occasion of the twen-

which

tieth anniversary of his theatrical activity,,

occurred that spring.

We,

wished to

his friends ?

commemorate the rare event in the annals of the


theatre of an undertaking of a purely artistic nature.,

without the least hope of material gain, which

had been

able to continue for so

survive so

many

trials,

many

World War,

including the

and had, moreover, continued

solely

years and to

owing

to the

indomitable energy, the persistent tenacity, of one

man

passionately devoted to his work.

to give

him

a surprise,

and were able

We
to

wanted

keep our

moment, which would have been


the case of a ballet, for which Diaghi-

secret to the last

impossible in
leff's

the

would have been necessary from


As we were too short both of time and

participation

first.

funds to present CEdipus

was decided

Rex

in a stage setting,

to give it in concert

form.

And

it

even

that entailed so large an outlay for


soloists, choruses,

and orchestra that we could never have met

Edmond

Princess

come

to

it if

de Polignac had not once more

our assistance.

The

first

audition of CEdipus took place at the


[

208

STRAVINSKY
Th.6a.tre

Sarah Bernhardt on

lowed by two more under


I

had

May

30, and was fol-

Once again
from the conditions under which my

to suffer

my direction.

work was presented an oratorio sandwiched between


:

two

ballets!

An audience which had come to

applaud

was naturally disconcerted by such a contrast,


and was unable to concentrate on something purely

ballet

auditive.

That

is

why

the later performances of

CEdipus as an opera under Klemperer in Berlin, and

then as a concert under

and London and in the

my

direction in

Salle Pleyel, Paris,

Dresden
gave

me

far greater satisfaction.

In June I spent a fortnight in London, where,


besides conducting (Edipus for the British Broad-

casting Corporation, I conducted a gala performance

of

my ballets given by Diaghileff

which ex-King Alfonso, always

in

my honor,

faithful to the

and

Rus-

sian Ballet, honored

While

in

by his presence.
London I had an opportunity of hear-

ing a very beautiful concert of the works of Manuel


de Falla.

high

With a

praise,

decision

he conducted

and

his

crispness meriting

remarkable El Retablo

de Maese Pedro, in which he had the valuable assistance of

Mme

Vera Janacopoulos.
[

209

I also greatly

STRAVINSKY
enjoyed hearing his concerto for harpsichord or

which he himself played on the latter instrument. In my opinion these two works give proof of
piano,,

incontestable progress in the development of his

great talent.

He

cipated himself

eman-

has, in them, deliberately

from the

folklorist influence

under

which he was in danger of stultifying himself.


About this time I was asked by the Congressional Library at

Washington

to

compose a ballet

for a festival of contemporary music

which was

to

include the production of several works


specially
written for the occasion. The
American

generous
Mrs.
Elizabeth
patron,
Sprague Coolidge, had undertaken to defray the expense of these artistic
productions. I

had a free hand

limited only as to length,

half an hour
to

by reason

as to subject

which was not

of the

number

and was
to

exceed

of musicians

be heard in the available time. This


proposal

suited

me

just then,

admirably, for, as I was more or less free


it

enabled

me

to

carry out an idea, which

had long tempted me, to compose a ballet founded


on moments or episodes in Greek
mythology plastically interpreted

by dancing

of the so-called classi-

cal school.

210

STRA VINSKY
theme Apollo Musagetes that is,
the master of the Muses inspiring each of

I chose as

Apollo as

them with her own


three., selecting

art. I

from among them

hymnia, and Terpsichore


teristic representatives

personifies poetry

us

lips,

and

being the most charac-

and

tablets

from Apollo,

rhythm Polyhymnia, finmime. As Cassiodorus tells

its

represents

"Those speaking

as

Calliope, Poly-

of choreographic art. Cal-

liope, receiving the stylus

ger on

reduced their number to

fingers, that eloquent silence,

those narratives in gesture, are said to have been in-

vented by the
that

man

Muse Polyhymnia, wishing

to

prove

could express his will without recourse to

words." Finally, Terpsichore, combining in herself


both the rhythm of poetry and the eloquence of gesture, reveals dancing to the world,

and thus among

the Muses takes the place of honor beside the

Musa-

getes.

After a
to
let

series of allegorical dances,

be treated in the traditional

which were

classical style of bal-

(Pas d'action, Pas de deux, Variations, Coda),

Apollo, in an apotheosis, leads the Muses, with

Terpsichore at their head, to Parnassus, where they


are to live ever afterwards. I prefaced this allegory

211

STRA VINSKY
with a prologue representing the birth of Apollo.
According

to the legend,

moment

feeling the

"Leto was with

child,,

and,

threw her

of birth at hand,

arms about a palm tree and knelt on the tender


green turf, and the earth smiled beneath her, and
the child sprang forth to the light.

Goddesses

washed him with limpid water, gave him for swaddling clothes a white veil of fine tissue, and
it

bound

with a golden girdle."

When, in my admiration

for the beauty of line

in classical
dancing, I dreamed of a ballet of this
kind, I had specially in

my thoughts what is known


as the "white
ballet," in which to my mind the very
essence of this art reveals itself in

all its

found that the absence of many-colored

purity. I

effects

and

of all superfluities
produced a wonderful freshness.

This inspired

me

to write

character. It seemed to

music of an analogous

me that

was the most appropriate for


austerity of

its

style

this purpose,

determined what

mental ensemble must

my

and the
instru-

be. I at once set aside the

ordinary orchestra because of


its

diatonic composition

its

heterogeneity, with

groups of string, wood, brass, and percussion in-

struments. I also discarded ensembles of

212

wood and

STRAVINSKY
which have

brass, the effects of

exploited of late,

The

and

really been too

much

chose strings.

orchestral use of strings has for

some time

suffered a sad falling off. Sometimes they are des-

tined to support
to the role of

dynamic

effects,

simple "colorists."

self in this respect.

The

sometimes reduced
I

plead guilty

my-

original purpose of strings

was determined in the country of their origin


and was first and foremost the cultivation of
Italy
canto, of melody; but this, for

good reasons, has


been abandoned. There was a marked and warrantable reaction in the second half of the nineteenth

century against a decay of melodic art which was


congealing the language of music into hackneyed

formulas while simultaneously neglecting

many

of

the other elements of music. But, as so of ten happens,


the swing of the
taste for

pendulum was

melody per

se

longer cultivated for

assessed. It

seemed

but urgent

to

this

to

having been

its

therefore no criterion

too violent.

own

sake,

by which

its

lost, it

The

was no

and there was


value could be

me that it was not

only timely

turn once more to the cultivation of

element from a purely musical point of view.

That

is

why I was

so

much
215

attracted

by the idea

of

STRAVINSKY
should revolve
writing music in which everything
about the melodic principle. And then the pleasure
of immersing oneself again in the multisonorous

euphony of

and making

strings

it

penetrate even the

And how

furthest fibers of the polyphonic web!

could the unadorned design of the classical dance be

by the flow

better expressed than

of

as it ex-

melody

pands in the sustained psalmody of strings?

began the composition of Apollo in July. I


was completely absorbed by the work, and, not wishI

ing

to

be distracted, postponed

tion of plans for the concerts

till

later all considera-

which were

to

be given

in the autumn. I did, however, accept the invitation


of

my

friends the

Lyons

father and sons

tors of the Pleyel concern, to take part

new

in the opening of their large


Paris.

At

this

Government

direc-

with Ravel

concert hall in

ceremony, attended by the highest

officials

of Paris, I conducted

my Suite

de VOiseau de Feu, and Ravel conducted his False.


It

was about

Rue

this

time that the Pleyel firm left the

Rochechouart, where

it

had been domiciled for

nearly a century, and moved into


the Faubourg
studio.

St.

new

premises in

Honor6, in which they gave

Meanwhile,

all

the

rolls of

214

my

me

works made

STRAVINSKY
had been

for their mechanical piano

sold

by Pleyel
to the Duo Art (/Eolian) Company, which signed a
new contract with me which necessitated frequent
journeys to London.

At the beginning

of

928

the music of Apollo. All that

I finished

composing

now remained was

the

final orchestration of the score,, and, as this did not

occupy
to

my whole time

was able

to give

some of

it

my tours and concerts. From among these I select


Le Sacre du

for mention two at the Salle Pleyel,

Printemps being included in both programs. These


concerts were important for me because it was the
first

time that Paris heard the Sacre under

rection. It

is

not for

formance, but

may

me

wanted

per-

all

kinds of orchestras on

my

had reached a point at


could obtain exactly what I wanted as I

numerous concert
I

my own

di-

say that, thanks to the experi-

ence I had gained with

which

to appraise

my

tours, I

it.

With regard

was tackling
was particularly anxious in some

to

for the first time, I

the Sacre, which

of the parts (Glorification of the Elect, Evocation


of Ancestors,

Dance of Consecration)

to give the

bars their true metric value, and to have them played

215

STRAVINSKY
on

exactly as they were written. I lay stress


point,

which

may seem

to the reader to

professional detail. But with a


as

Monteux and Ansermet,

be a purely

few exceptions, such

for example, most con-

ductors are inclined to cope with the metric


culties of these passages in

what happens fearing


:

to

diffi-

such cavalier fashion as

my music and my intentions.

to distort alike

this

make

This

is

a mistake in a se-

quence of bars of varying values, some conductors


do not hesitate to ease their task by
treating
of equal length.

weak tempi

them

as

such methods the strong and

By

are obviously displaced,

and

it is left

to

the musicians to perform the onerous task of readjusting the accents in the

by the

new

bars as improvised

conductors, a task so difficult that even if

no catastrophe the listener


expects one at
any moment, and is immersed in an atmosphere of
there

is

intolerable strain.

There are other conductors who do not even


try to solve the problem confronting them,

and sim-

ply transcribe such music into undecipherable nonsense,

which they try

to conceal

under violent ges-

ticulations.

In listening to

all

these "artistic
interpreta-

216

STRAVINSKY
tions,"

honest

one begins
skill

ing

first

profound respect for the

of the artisan, and

terness that I
finds artists

to feel

am

it is

not without bit-

compelled to say

how seldom one

who have

it

and use

it,

the rest disdain-

as

something hierarchically inferior.


At the end of February I went to Berlin for the

it

performance of

produced

my

(Edipus, which was being

at the Staatsoper

under Klemperer.

what the Germans

call

to say, "world-first

performance," for

in Berlin, that
opera.

The

it

It

was

an Urauffuehrung, that

was given for the

is

was then,
time as an

it

first

execution of OEdipus, which was fol-

lowed by Petroushka and Mavra, was of the highest


order. Musical life was at that time in full swing in

Germany. In

contrast with the pre-war custodians

of old dogmas, a fresh public joyfully and gratefully

accepted the

new

Germany was

manifestations of contemporary

becoming the center of


the musical movement, and spared no effort to make
art.

definitely

succeed. In this connection I should like to

men-

tion the enlightened activity in the realm of

music

it

of such organizations as the

Rundfunk (Radio)

in

Berlin and that of Frankfort-on-Main, and to note


particularly the sustained efforts of the latter's ad-

217

STRAVINSKY
mirable conductor ; Rosbaud ; who,, by his energy,
his taste, his experience,

and devotion, succeeded

very quickly in bringing that organization

to a

very
were
then
Germany
high artistic pitch. My
very frequent, and I always went there with the
same pleasure.
visits to

After conducting two concerts at Barcelona,

where

gave the Sacre, which up

been heard there,


Rossignol at the
Costaiizi

went

Royal

to

to

Rome

Opera, into

then had not

to conduct

my

which the old

Theatre had just been transformed.

The

management had at first intended to produce OEdipus


also. It had been produced at the
Staatsoper in Vienna under the direction of Schalk just
going

But the plan had

to Berlin.

by reason

of the

to

as

he was

be abandoned

overwhelming number of new pro-

ductions for the opening of the Royal Opera.


I then
at the

went

Amsterdam

to

to

conduct (Edipus

Concertgebouw, which was celebrating

its

by a series of sumptuous muThe fine Concertgebouw orchestra,

fortieth anniversary
sical productions.

always at the same high level, the magnificent male


choruses from the Royal
Apollo Society, soloists of
the first rank
them
Hflfcne Sadoven

Mme

among
[

218

STRAVINSKY
as Jocasta, Louis

Huf an

van Tulder

work was received by the public, have


larly precious

memory

and Paul

and the way in which my

excellent reader

as (Edipus,

left a particu-

that I recall with

much

en-

joyment.

Soon afterwards

conducted CEdipus in Lon-

don for the British Broadcasting Corporation. That


institution, with which I had already worked for

some years and with which

continue to be on the

best of terms, merits special attention.

informed and cultured

form within

this

huge

few well-

among them

Edward Clark

friend of long standing,


able to

men

my

have been

eclectic organization

a small group which, with praiseworthy energy,

pursues the propaganda of contemporary music, up-

holding

cause with invincible tenacity.

its

The

B.B.C. has succeeded in forming a fine orchestra,

which certainly
I

rivals the best in the world.

should like here to say a few words about

The

England has not


for a long time produced any great creators of music
has given rise to an erroneous opinion concerning
the musical gifts and aptitudes of the English in
English musicians.

general. It

is

fact that

alleged that they are not musical ; but

219

STRAVINSKY
this

contrary to

is

my

but praise for their

shown

in

my

all

dealings

have always been struck by the

and spontaneous enthusiasm which charac-

sincere

them in

terizes

and honest,

precision,

ability.,

conscientious work, as

with them ; and

experience. I have nothing

spite of inept prejudice to the

trary prevalent in other countries. I

ing merely of orchestral

artists ;

am

con-

not speak-

but of choruses and

work.

It is

therefore not astonishing that I should always

have

solo singers ? all alike devoted to their

been more than

satisfied

works, and was so


qualities

with their rendering of

now with

GLdipus, in

which these

were fully displayed.

I seize this

opportunity of paying a

warm trib-

ute to that veteran English conductor, Sir


a musician of the first
rank,

Wood,

my

Henry

whose great

had an opportunity of appreciating quite rein the autumn of 1934


at a concert in
cently
which I conducted Persephone and he most
gifts I

perfectly

UOiseau de Feu and Feu


panied

me

d'Artifice,

and accom-

with so sure a hand when I


played

my

Capriccio.

On my
on

May

return to Paris I played

my

Concerto

under the excellent direction of Bruno


[

220

STRAVINSKY
Walter.,

my

who

thanks to his exceptional

and

task very pleasant,

ability,

made

was quite free from

anxiety over the rhythmically dangerous passages

which are a stumbling block

Some days
Salle Pleyel,

and

to so

later I conducted (Edipus at the


this time,

on the concert platform

and before an audience attracted


it

conductors.

many

produced a very different

solely by the music,

effect

from that of

its

performance the year before in its setting among


the productions of Russian Ballet.

Apropos of CEdipus, I remember hearing about


that time that it had been given in Leningrad in
the winter at a concert of the State Choral

under the direction of Klimoff,

who had

Academy

previously

given Les Noces. In regard to the theatre in Russia


I

have been

less fortunate.

Under the

nothing of mine was ever produced.

seemed

at first

to

be interested in

theatres produced

state

my

,o

stage

Renard was

;oon taken off.


igo,

a failure,

But after

that,

The new regime

my

ballets

UOiseau de Feu, and Pulcinella.

old regime,

music.

The

Petroushka,

clumsy attempt
and the piece was

which was ten years

only Petroushka retained a place in the reper-

ories,

and

it

was rarely given


[

221

at that.

As

for

my

STRAVINSKY
Le

other works,

Le

Sacre, Les Noces,

Soldat,

Le

my latest creation, Persephone,

Baiser de la Fee, and

have not yet seen the footlights in Russia. From this


I conclude that a change of regime cannot change
the truth of the old adage that no

in his

own

country.

United States

few

years,

to

show

man

One has only

is

a prophet

to recall the

There, in the space of a

this.

Sacre, Les Noces, and (Edipus

Le

have

been successfully produced by Leopold Stokowski,


under the auspices of the League of Composers ; Petroushka and Rossignol at the Metropolitan Opera

House,

New York;

and,

still

more

recently,

Maura,

in Philadelphia, under the direction of Alexander


Smallens.

My

ballet,

Apollo Musagetes, was given in

Washington for the

first

time on April 27, with

Adolphe Bolm's choreography. As


cannot say anything about

was not there

What

it.

interested

me

performance in Paris at DiaI was myself to conduct


ghileff 's theatre, inasmuch as

far

more was

the music.

without

me

its first

My orchestra was so small that I was able


have four rehearsals. This gave
make a close study of the score with

difficulty to

a chance to

the musicians recruited

from the great symphonic

222

STRAVINSKY
orchestras of Paris,

whom I knew well

as I

had

fre-

quently worked with them.

As

have already mentioned,, Apollo was com-

posed for a string orchestra.


six

groups instead of the

called., but, to "be

more

My

music demanded

quartet., as it is

usually

exact, "quintet/' of the ordi-

nary orchestra, which is composed of first and second violins, violas, violoncellos, and double bass. I
therefore added to the regular ensemble a sixth

group, which was to be of second violoncellos. I thus

formed an instrumental

had a

each group of which

sextet,

strictly defined part.

This required the estab-

lishment of a well-proportioned gradation in the

matter of the number of instruments for each group.

The importance
clarity

and

clearly

shown

of these proportions for the

plasticity of the

Klemperer in

musical line was very

at a rehearsal of

Apollo conducted by

From the very first pages I was

Berlin.

by both the confusion of sound and the excesresonance. Far from standing out in the ensem-

struck
sive

merged in it to such an extent


everything seemed drowned in an indistinct

ble, the various parts

that

fact

And

happened notwithstanding the


that the conductor knew the score perfectly, and

buzzing.

this

223

STRA VINSKY
scrupulously observed
It

and nuances.

my movements

was simply a matter of the proportions of which


have just been speaking, and which had not been

foreseen. I

drew Klemperer's attention

to it

imme-

and the necessary adjustments were made.


His ensemble had consisted of sixteen first and fourdiately,

first

and four

second violoncellos, and six double basses.

The new

teen second violins, ten violas, four

arrangement was eight


six violas, four first

and four double

first

and eight second violins,

and four second

The

basses.

produced the desired

alteration

violoncellos,

immediately

Everything became

effect.

sharp and clear.

How

often

we composers

are at the

mercy

of

so insignificant at
things of that sort, which seem
first sight!

How

the impression

often

it is

made on

just they that

determine

the listener and decide the

very success of the piece! Naturally the public does


not understand, and judges the piece by the

which

it is

way

in

may well envy the


and writers, who com-

presented. Composers

lot of painters, sculptors,

municate directly with their public without having


recourse to intermediaries.

On June 121

conducted the

224

first

production of

STRAVINSKY
Apollo Musagetes at the Theatre Sarah Bernhardt
in Paris.
tion

As a stage performance

from

this

got

more

satisfac-

than from Les Noces, which was the

thing that Diaghileff had had from me.

latest

Georges Balanchine,

had arranged

as ballet master,

the dances exactly as I had wished

that

is to

say,

in accordance with the classical school.

From

that

point of view

and

was

the

first

work

it

was a complete

success,

it

attempt to revive academic dancing in a

actually composed for the purpose. Balanchine,

who had

already given proof of great proficiency

and imagination in his ballet productions, notably


in the charming Barabau by Rieti, had designed for
the choreography of Apollo groups, movements, and
lines of great dignity

spired

by the beauty

ough musician

and

plastic elegance as in-

of classical forms.

he had studied

at the St. Peters-

he had had no

burg Conservatoire

grasping the smallest details of

As a thor-

my

difficulty in

music, and his

beautiful choreography clearly expressed

my mean-

ing.

As

The

graceful Nikitina with her purity of line alter-

for the dancers, they

were beyond

all praise.

nating with the enchanting Danilova in the r&le of


Terpsichore ; Tchernichova and Doubrovska, those
[

225

STRAVINSKY
custodians of the best classical traditions ; finally,

Serge Lifar, then

still

and

natural, spontaneous,

for his art

pany. But

all

my

quite young, conscientious,


full of serious

enthusiasm

formed an unforgettable com-

these

satisfaction

was

less

complete in the

matter of costume and decor, in which

I did

not see

As I have already said,


eye to eye with Diaghileff.
it to myself as danced in short white
I had
pictured

ballet skirts in a severely conventionalized theatrical

landscape devoid of
as

all fantastic

would have been out

embellishment such

of keeping with

my primary

afraid of the extreme


conception. But Diaghileff,
simplicity of

my

and always on the lookout

idea,

for something new, wished to enhance the spectacular side,

and entrusted scenery and costumes to a

provincial painter,

little

known

Andr Bauchant, who, in

to the Paris public

his remote village, in-

in the style
dulged in a genre of painting somewhat

What

of the douanier Rousseau.


interesting, but, as I

suited

expected,

it

in

no way

my ideas.

My work was
cess

had

he produced was

very well received, and

was greater that

had

its

suc-

expected, seeing that the

226

STRAVINSKY
music of Apollo lacked those elements which evoke
the enthusiasm of the public at a

first

hearing.

Directly after the Paris performance of Apollo


I

went

conduct

to

As always

it at its first

in England,

London appearance.

where the Russian

Ballet en-

joys established and

unwavering popularity, the


piece was a great success, but it would be impossible
to say in what degree this was due to music, author,
dancers, choreography, subject, or scenery.

There was no
it

road,

room

and there

concentrate on

heard, so that

me that summer.

spent

on the Lake of Annecy, where

at Echarvines,

had taken

rest for

in a mason's cottage off the

had

main

installed a piano. I can never

my work if I am where I can be over-

it

was impossible for

me to

settle

down

my piano in the boarding house in which I was


staying with my family. I therefore chose this iso-

with

lated place in the hope of finding peace

free

from

deceived.

all

importunate neighbors.

The workman who had let

and

the

solitude,

was cruelly

room to me

occupied the rest of the house with his wife and


child.
till

He went out in the morning, and all was

he returned

at

noon.

The family then

227

sat

quiet

down

STRAVINSKY
An

to dinner.

and rancid
tion

acrid

and nauseating smell of garlic

came through the chinks of the partiwhich separated me from them, and made me
oil

an exchange of bitter words, the


mason would lose his temper and begin to swear at
feel sick. After

his wife

and

child, terrifying

The wife would


ing into

and rush

sobs,

out,

them with his

threats.

by answering, and then, burst-

start

would pick up the screaming infant


followed by her husband. This was

repeated every day with hopeless regularity, so that


the last hour of
filled

my

morning's work was always

with agonizing apprehension.

there was no need for

me

the afternoon, as I devoted that to


I did

Fortunately

to return to the

house in

work for which

not require a piano.

One evening, when

my sons and I were

sitting

quietly on the verandah of our boarding house, the


silence of the night

was suddenly shattered by

ing shrieks for help.

I at

once recognized the voice

of the mason's wife, and


across the little

pierc-

my

sons

meadow which

and

hurried

separated us

from

the house from which the cries were


coming. But

was quiet evidently our footsteps had been heard.


Next day, at the request of the proprietor of our
all

228

STRAVINSKY
boarding house, the mayor of the village,

who was

aware of the goings-on of this charming family, expostulated with this desperate character over his
cruelty to his wife.

from

Molifere's

Whereupon

the famous scene

Mddecin Malgre Lui was

Like Martine, the

woman

repeated.

resolutely took her hus-

band's part and declared that she had no reason to

complain of him.
It

was in that atmosphere that

worked

at

my

Baiser de la Fee.
Just as I

was finishing the music of Apollo

at

the end of the preceding year (1927), I received

from

Mme

ballet for

Ida Rubinstein a proposal to compose a

her repertory. The painter Alexandra

who

Benois,

did some

work

for her, submitted

two

which seemed very likely to attract


me. The idea was that I should compose something

plans, one of

inspired

known

by

the music of Tchaikovsky.

fondness for this composer, and,

My
still

well-

more,

the fact that November, the time fixed for the per-

formance, would mark the thirty-fifth anniversary


of his death, induced

give

me to

accept the offer. It

me

age to

would

an opportunity of paying my heartfelt homTchaikovsky's wonderful talent.


[

229

STRAVINSKY
As

was free

to

choose both the subject and

scenario of the ballet ; I

to search for

began

them,

in view of the characteristic trend of Tchaikovsky's

music, in the literature of the nineteenth century.

With

that aim, I turned to a great poet with a

gentle, sensitive soul

whose imaginative mind was

wonderfully akin to that of the musician.

Hans

Christian Andersen, with

spect Tchaikovsky
call

La

Belle

had

so

much

whom

I refer to

in this re-

common. To

in

re-

au Bois Dormant, Casse Noisette, Le

Lac des Cygnes, Pique Dame, and many pieces of


his symphonic work is enough to show the extent of
his fondness for the fantastic.

In turning over the pages of Andersen, with

which
I

was

fairly familiar, I

came

across a story

had completely forgotten, which struck

ing the very thing for the idea that

me

wanted

as

be-

to ex-

was the very beautiful story known to us as


The Ice Maiden. I chose that as my theme, and

press. It

worked out the story on the following lines. A


fairy
her
kiss
on
a
child
at birth and parts
imprints
magic
it

from

its

mother. Twenty years

later,

when

the

youth has attained the very zenith of his good fortune, she repeats the fatal kiss and carries him off to
[

230

STRAVINSKY
live in

As

supreme happiness with her ever afterwards.

my

object

was

commemorate the work

to

me

Tchaikovsky., this subject seemed to


ticularly appropriate as

of

be par-

to

an allegory, the muse hav-

ing similarly branded Tchaikovsky with her fatal

and the magic imprint has made

kiss,
all

the musical creations of this great

Although

gave full liberty

choreographer in the staging of

my

innermost desire was that

in classical form, after the

tured
skirts,

all

it

itself felt

in

artist.

to painter

my

and

composition,

should be presented

manner

of Apollo. I pic-

the fantastic roles as danced in white ballet

and the

rustic scenes as taking place in a Swiss

landscape, with some of the performers dressed in

the

manner

of early tourists

and mingling with the

friendly villagers in the good old theatrical tradition.

As the
was not far

date of
off, I

Mme Rubinstein's performances

barely left

home

all

that

except for a concert at Scheveningen, for


too

much

summer
had not

time in which to execute so complicated a

piece of work.

As

hate being hurried, and was

afraid of unforeseen obstacles towards the finish, I


seized every

hour

could to go ahead with


[

251

my com-

STRAVINSKY
as possible to the last
position, thus leaving as little

moments.

much

preferred tiring myself at the be-

ginning to being hurried at the end.

The following incident indicates how loath I


was to waste time. The day on which I went to Paris
on

Nice, I found, on

my way back to

the train, that

we were

waking up in

not in the suburbs of Paris,

but in some wholly unexpected


that on account of the great

spot. It

turned out

number of extras put on

by the railway to cope with the congestion caused by


the end of the holidays our train had been shunted
to a siding at Nevers,

and

I discovered that

we

should be four hours late in reaching Paris. Far

from a

station

and on an empty stomach

a scrap of bread was available

was nevertheless

unperturbed by this mishap, and turned

by working

in

my

not even

it

to profit

compartment during those four

hours.

To

finish

and orchestrate

short time available

was

so

my

music in the

heavy a task that

was

unable to follow the work of Bronislava


Nijinska,

who was composing


by

the choreography in Paris bit

bit as I sent the


parts

pleted.

Owing

to this, it

from Echarvines
was not

252

as

com-

until just before

STRAVINSKY
saw her work, and by
that time all the principal scenes had been fixed. I
found some of the scenes successful and worthy of

the

first

performance that

Nijinska's talent. But there was, on the other hand,

a good deal of

had

been present

tion, I

now

which I could not approve, and which,


at

the

moment

should have tried to get altered. But

too late for

any interference on

had, whether I liked

they were.

It is

it

me

my part,

it

was

and

or not, to leave things as

hardly surprising in these circum-

stances that the choreography of


left

of their composi-

Le

Baiser de la Fee

cold.

was generously given four rehearsals with


the admirable orchestra of the Op&ra. They were
I

arduous, because at each of

them

had

with the dreadful system of deputizing


the music

when

to

so fatal to

at each rehearsal musicians,

any warning, send others

contend

without

to take their place.

One

has only to recall the amusing story so often repeated,

which

is

attributed to various conductors.

Exasperated by seeing
ists'

music stands

attention to

it,

at

new faces at the instrumental-

every rehearsal, he draws their

and suggests that they should follow

the example of the soloist


[

255

who
]

regularly attends

STRAVINSKY
every rehearsal. At that

moment

thanks the conductor, and informs

day of the concert he

the soloist rises,

him

that on the

will, to his great regret,

have

to send a deputy.
I

conducted this ballet twice at the Paris Op6ra,

on November 27 and December


stein's

performances.

Theatre de

Monte

la

Carlo.

It

was

Monnaie

also

4, at

Rubin-

given once at the

at Brussels,

On both these

Mme

and once

last occasions it

at

was ad-

mirably conducted $ in Brussels by Corneil de Thoran, and at

Monte Carlo by Gustave

performance was given

Cloez.

at the Scala at

final

Milan about

Mme Rubinstein rerepertory. A few years later,

the same time, and after that

moved

it

from her

Bronislava Nijinska produced

Colon

it

again at the Teatro

Buenos Aires, where she had already given


Les Noces, and where both these works had a
at

great

success.

Nor was

this

an isolated incident. In the

course of the last eight years most of

my symphonic
and stage compositions have been
frequently played
at Buenos Aires, and, thanks to Ansermet's conducting, the public has been able to get a

good idea of

them.

As with

my other ballets, I made an


[

254

orchestra]

STRAVINSKY
from the music of Le Baiser de

suite

can be played without

much

la Fee,

difficulty

which

by reason

of

the restricted size of the orchestra


required. I often

conduct this suite myself , and

more because
chestration

in

I like

doing

so, all

tried a style of
writing

it I

which was new

to

the

and or-

me, and was one by

means of which the music could be appreciated


the

first

at

hearing.

At the beginning of the 1928-1929 season a


new organization came into being,, known as the
Orchestre Symphonique de Paris, or O.S.P., created

by Ansermet who became its principal conductor.


At its invitation I conducted two concerts at the
;

Theatre des Champs-filys^es with this

and

it

cians,

new

group,

was a joy to work with these young musiwho were so well disciplined and so full of

goodwill, and

who were

forbidden to indulge the

odious habit of deputizing, of which

complain and from which I suffered


rehearsals of

About

Le Baiser de

this

time

all

so

conductors

much

at the

la Fee.

signed a contract for several

years with the great Columbia

Gramophone Company, for which I was exclusively to record my work


both as pianist and conductor, year by year. This
[

235

STRAVINSKY
work

greatly interested

with piano

rolls, I

me, for here, far better than

was able

to express all

my inten-

tions with real exactitude.

Consequently these records, very successful

from a

technical point of view, have the importance

of documents which can serve as guides to


tants of

execu-

all

my music. Unfortunately, very few conduc-

tors avail themselves of

them. Some do not even in-

quire whether such records exist. Doubtless their

from consulting them,

dignity prevents others


cially since if once

espe-

they knew the record they could

not with a clear conscience conduct as


they liked.
Is it

not amazing that in our


times,

means, which

is

learning exactly
to

accessible to all, has

how

when

a sure

been found of

the author demands his

be executed, there should

still

be those

work

who

will

not take any notice of such


means, but persist in inserting concoctions of their

own vintage?

Unfortunately, therefore, the rendering recorded by the author fails to achieve its most important object

that of

establishing the

manner in which

played. This

is all

the

safeguarding his work by


it

more regrettable

236

ought

to

be

since it

is

not

STRAVINSKY
a question of a haphazard

gramophone record of
just any performance. Far from that, the very purpose of the work on these records is the elimination
of all chance elements
different records
is

by selecting from among the


those which are most successful. It

obvious that in even the very best records one

come

across certain defects such as


crackling,

rough surface, excessive or


But these

more

may
a

insufficient resonance.

which, for that matter, can be

defects,

or less corrected

by the gramophone and the

choice of the needle, do not in the least affect the essential thing,

without which

it

would be impossible

form any idea of the composition I refer to the


pace of the movements and their relationship to one
to

another.

When

one thinks of the complexity of making

such records, of

all

the difficulties

the accidents to which

it is

it

presents, of all

exposed, the constant

nervous strain caused by the knowledge that one

is

continuously at the mercy of some possible stroke of

bad luck, some extraneous noise by reason of which


it

may

all

have

to

be done over again,

help being embittered

by the thought
237

how

can one

that the fruit

STRAVINSKY
of so

much labor will be

so little used,

even as a docu-

who

should be most in-

One cannot even pretend

that the easygoing

ment, by the very persons


terested ?

fashion in which "interpreters" treat their contemporaries


raries

is

because they feel that these contempo-

have not

old masters, the classics, are subjected to just the

treatment notwithstanding

enough

to cite

The

sufficient reputation to matter.

their authority. It

all

Beethoven and

same

to take as

an

is

illustra-

Symphony, which bears the comown precise metronomic directions. But are

tion his Eighth


poser's

they heeded? There are as

ings as there are conductors!


Fifth,

come

my

that

Eighth?"

is

"Have you heard

my

a phrase that has be-

mouths

quite usual in the

different render-

many

of these gentlemen,

and their mentality could not be better


exemplified.
no
matter
how
But,
disappointing the work is

when regarded from this point


a moment regret the time and
gives

who

me

of view, I do not for


effort spent

on

it.

It

the satisfaction of

knowing that everyone


records hears my music free from

my
any distortion of my thought,
listens to

elements. Moreover, the

at least in its essential

work did

238

a good deal to de-

STRAVINSKY

my

velop

technique as a conductor.

repetition of a

The frequent

fragment or even of an entire piece,

the sustained effort to allow not the slightest detail


to escape attention, as

at

any ordinary

may happen

for lack of time

rehearsal, the necessity of observ-

ing absolute precision of movement as

termined by the timing

all this is

strictly de-

a hard school in

which a musician obtains very valuable training and


learns

much

that

is

extremely useful.

In the domain of music the importance and influence of

its

dissemination

by mechanical means,

such as the record and the radio

those redoubtable

triumphs of modern science which will probably undergo

still

make them worthy

further development

of the closest investigation.


offer to composers

The

facilities that

and executants

they

alike for reaching

great numbers of listeners, and the opportunities


that they give to those listeners of acquainting themselves

with works they have not heard, are obviously

indisputable advantages. But one

must not overlook

the fact that such advantages are attended

by

ous danger. In John Sebastian Bach's days


necessary for

ing town

to

him

to

walk ten miles

to a

it

seri-

was

neighbor-

hear Buxtehude play his works. Today


[

239

STRAVINSKY
to turn a
anyone, living no matter where, has only
knob or put on a record to hear what he likes. In-

deed,

it is

in just this incredible facility, this lack of

any effort, that the evil of this so-called


than in any other
progress lies. For in music, more
branch of art, understanding is given only to those
necessity for

who make an

active effort. Passive receptivity is not

enough. To listen to certain combinations of sound

and automatically become accustomed to them does


not necessarily imply that they have been heard and
understood. For one can listen without hearing, just
as

one can look without seeing. The absence of ac-

tive effort

and the liking acquired for

make for laziness. The

this facility

radio has got rid of the neces-

which existed in Bach's day for getting out of


one's armchair. Nor are listeners any longer imsity

pelled to play themselves, or to spend time

on learn-

ing an instrument in order to acquire a knowledge


of musical literature. The wireless and the
gramo-

phone do

all that.

teners, without

And thus the active faculties of lis-

which one cannot

assimilate music,

gradually become atrophied from lack of use. This


creeping paralysis entails very serious consequences.

Oversaturated with sounds, blasd even before com[

240

STRAVINSKY
binations of the utmost variety, listeners fall into a

kind of torpor which deprives them of


discrimination and makes

them

quality of the pieces presented. It

appetite

and

is

more than likely

relish for music.

make them lose


There

course, always be exceptions, individuals

know how

to select

power of

indifferent to the

that such irrational overfeeding will


all

all

will, of

who

will

from the mass those things that

appeal to them. But for the majority of listeners


there

is

every reason to fear that, far from develop-

ing a love and understanding of music, the modern

methods of dissemination will have a diametrically


opposite effect

that

is

to say, the production of in-

difference, inability to understand, to appreciate, or


to

undergo any worthy reaction.


In addition, there

is

the musical deception aris-

ing from the substitution for the actual playing of


a reproduction, whether on record or film or
wireless transmission

from a

distance. It

difference as that between the ersatz


tic.

The danger

lies

is

by

the same

and the authen-

in the very fact that there

is al-

ways a far greater consumption of the ersatz, which,


it must be remembered, is far from
being identical
with

its

model. The continuous habit of listening to


[

241

STRAVINSKY
changed, and sometimes distorted, timbres spoils the
ear, so that it gradually loses all capacity for enjoying natural musical sounds.
All these considerations

in coming from one


is

still

who

working, in this

may seem

has worked
field. I

so

unexpected

much, and

think that I have

sufficiently stressed the instructional value that I

un-

means

of musical repro-

duction but that does not prevent

me from seeing its

reservedly ascribe to this


;

negative sides, and I anxiously ask myself whether

they are

sufficiently

outweighed by the positive ad-

vantages to enable one to face

242

them with impunity.

^AMMA/VWVWU/VVll'VVWVVVl/VI^

10
HAVE now brought my

up to the year
1 929, a year overshadowed by a great and grievous
event the passing of Diaghileff. He died on Au-

gust
it

9,

but his

dwarfs in

moved me

loss

so

profoundly that

my memory all the other events

year. I shall, therefore,

chronology of
of

chronicle

my

somewhat

of that

anticipate the

narrative in order to speak here

my late friend.
At the beginning

to single

me

my career he was the first

out for encouragement, and he gave

me real and valuable

my

of

assistance.

music and believe in

did his utmost to

make

my

Not only did he

like

development, but he

the public appreciate me.

He

was genuinely attracted by what I was then writing, and it gave him real pleasure to produce my
work, and, indeed,
of

my listeners,

to force it

as,

on the more rebellious

for example, in the case of the

Sacre du Printemps. These feelings of his, and the


[

243

STRAVINSKY
zeal

me

which characterized them, naturally evoked in

a reciprocal sense of gratitude ; deep attachment,,


his sensitive comprehension, his

and admiration for

ardent enthusiasm, and the indomitable fire with

which he put things

into practice.

Our friendship, which lasted


years ; was, alas!
flicts

which, as

for almost

twenty

time by con-

marked from time

to

have already

were due

extreme jealousy.

It is

said,

obvious that

my

to his

relations

with Diaghileff could not but undergo a certain


change in the later years in view of the broadening

my personal and independent activiof the fact that my collaboration with the

of the field of
ties,

and

Russian Ballet had


enjoyed. There
ideas

lost

was

the continuity

less affinity

and opinions, which,

as

it

had

earlier

than before in our

time went on, fre-

quently developed in divergent directions. "Modern-

ism"

at

any

price, cloaking a fear of not

being in

the vanguard ; the search for something sensational;

uncertainty as to

what

line to take

these things

wrapped Diaghileff in a morbid atmosphere of painful gropings. All this prevented

sympathy with everything he


[

244

me from

did,

and

this

being in

made

us

STRAVINSKY
less

frank in our relations with

than upset him,


as

is

Rather

evaded these questions, especially

my arguments would have

pose. It

each, other.

served no useful pur-

true that with age and

ill

health his self-

assurance had decreased, but not his temperament


or his habitual obstinacy, and he

would certainly

have persisted in a heated defense of things which


I felt sure that he was not certain about in his inner-

most being.

My last contact with Diaghileff was in connecwhich he was re-creating for his
the Theatre Sarah Bernhardt. With-

tion with Renardy

spring season at

out entering here into a discussion of the


ting, I

ated

must say that

by Nijinska

missed the

in 1922, of

first

which

new

set-

version cre-

have already

spoken.

After that season in Paris


casually,

and

at a distance

saw him only once

on the platform of the

Gare du Nord, where we were both taking the train


for London. Six weeks later the news of his death
reached

me

summer

as I

out with

my

where

was spending the


had done the year before. I had been

at Echarvines,

sons to see Prokofiev,

245

who was

living

STRA FINSKY
On

in the neighborhood.

returning late,

we were

met by my wife, who had sat up to give us the sad


news which had been telegraphed from Venice.
was not entirely unprepared for his death. I
knew that he had diabetes, though I did not know
I

that

it

was

age his robust constitution should have en-

as at his

him

abled

be dangerous, especially

so serious as to

to

combat the disease for some years. His

physical condition

had not,

therefore, caused

me any

alarm. But, of late, in watching the usual activities


of his everyday

that his moral forces

and

had formed the impression


were rapidly disintegrating,

life, I

was haunted by the thought that he had


reached the limit of his life. That is
why his death,
I

though

it

caused

me acute grief as

our final parting,

did not greatly surprise me.

At the moment

I naturally did not


give

much

an estimate of the influence of


thought
DiaghilefFs activity, indeed of his
in
the
world
very life,
to

of

art. I

gave myself up to

friend, a brother,

my

grief,

whom I should never

This separation gave rise to

many

memories, which were dear

mourning a
see again.

many
to

me.

feelings,
It is

only
with
the
of
the
today,
passing
years, that one begins
[

246

STRAVINSKY
to realize

everywhere and in everything what a ter-

was created by the disappearance of this


figure, whose greatness can only be meas-

rible void
colossal

ured fully by the fact that

him. The truth of the matter


is

original

is

impossible to replace

it is

is

that everything that

irreplaceable. I recall this fine phrase

of the painter Constantine Korovine

he said one day

to Diaghileff, "I

"I thank you,"

thank you for be-

ing alive."

most of 1929

I devoted

had begun the Christmas beoften happened with me, this work was

my Capriccio,
fore.

As

so

to the composition of

which

several times interrupted

In February

went

to

by unavoidable

conduct CEdipus at a concert

in the Dresden Opera House,


larly impressed

journeys.

where

by the incomparable

was particufinish of the

Dresdner Lehrergesangsverein choirs. CEdipus was


the sole item on the program, and was given twice

on the same day

at a public

noon, and at the concert

little later

Paris asked

music.

It

me

to

La

itself

general rehearsal at
in the evening.

Soci&te Philharmonique de

conduct a concert of

my

took place at the Salle Pleyel on

The program included


[

chamber

March

5.

L'Histoire d'un Soldat and

247

STRAVINSKY
the Octuor, and I myself played

and

my Sonate

my

Serenade for the piano. I take this opportunity of


expressing

my appreciation of that admirable group

of Paris soloists
talent

who have

for

many years lent

and their wonderful enthusiasm

the value of

want particularly

Merckel
(flute)

(violiris)

maison (bassoons)

to

(clarinet)
,

rec-

mention Darieu and


,

Moyse

Dherin and Grand-

Vignal and Foveau (trumpets)

Delbos and Tudesque (trombones)


cussion)

making

Boussagol (double bass)

Gaudeau

enhance

work, whether in concerts, in the

my

theatre ; or in the fatiguing process of


ords. I

to

their

and Morel (per-

My visits to London stand out among the pleasant memories of

my journeys

so delightful at the
its

is

beginning of the summer, with

green lawns, the beautiful trees in the parks, the

river on

its

outskirts

gay with numberless

everywhere the frank good


letic

London

that year.

humor

youth. In such an atmosphere

boats,

and

of healthy ath-

work is

easy,

and

much enjoyed playing my Concerto with that bril-

liant English
musician,

ductor,

Eugene Goossens, as conand myself conducting Apollo and for the


[

248

STRAVINSKY
first

time in England

Le

Baiser de la Fee for the

B.B.C.

The enjoyment

of

my few days in London was

enhanced by the presence of Willy Strecker, one of


the owners of the publishing firm of Schott Sohne
at

Mainz, a

clever, cultured

from business

relations,

am with all his charming family,


give me the kindest welcome when I go

terms, as indeed

who always
to

Wiesbaden, where they

At

man with whom, apart


am on the friendliest

live.

that time Diaghileff 's Russian Ballet was

taking part in the Festspiele season in Berlin. Their

performances were being given at the two state


at the Opera, Unter den Linden, and at
theatres

Le Sacre du Printemps
and Apollo were among the works which had their
first stage performance there. A few days earlier
the Charlottenburg Opera.

Klemperer had given Apollo a first hearing at a concert of my music, in which I played my Concerto.

was prevented from seeing the Diaghileff performances, as I was urgently wanted in Paris to
I

make some gramophone records, and I did not regret it. I knew that the ballets were to come at the
end of the

Festspiele,

when the
249

orchestras of the

two

STRAVINSKY
theatres

would be worn out by

heavy work

their

throughout the

festival season. Besides, as

happened when

the Ballet was on tour,

troubling very

little

always

that the

was the scenic

theatres or impresarios cared about


effects,

all

about the musical aspect,

though trying to find composers whose names would


attract the public. In this case the same conditions
prevailed, so that, notwithstanding all the efforts of

a conductor like Ansermet, I expect that


saved

me from

ished
first

my absence

somewhat painful impression.


worked at my Capriccio all summer and

it

at the

end of September.

played

time on December 6 at a Paris

chestra concert,

for the

Symphony Or-

Ansermet conducting,

been asked in the course of the

it

fin-

had

so often

few years to
play my Concerto (this I had already done no fewer
than forty times) that I thought that it was time to
give the public another
tra.

That

is

why

work

last

for piano and orches-

wrote another concerto, which

name seeming to indicate best


of the music. I had in mind the defini-

called Capriccio, that

the character

tion of a capriccio
given

by Praetorius, the celebrated

musical authority of the


eighteenth century.

garded

it

as a

synonym
[

of the fantasia,

250

He re-

which was a

STRAVINSKY
form made up
This form enabled

free

of fugato instrumental passages.

me

to develop

music by the

my

which

juxtaposition of episodes of various kinds

fol-

low one another and by their very nature give the


piece that aspect of caprice from which it takes its

name.

There

is little

my Capriccio,

wonder

my

should find

that, while

working at
thoughts dominated

by that prince of music. Carl Maria von Weber,


whose genius admirably lent itself to this manner.
Alas! no one thought of calling

him

a prince in his

from quoting (authen-

lifetime! I cannot refrain

the startling opinion that the celebrated

tically)

Viennese dramatic poet, Franz Grillparzer, had of

Euryanthe and
anthology of
It

its

composer 5

classical criticisms

runs as follows:

"What

it

in a striking

published by Schott.

had feared on the ap-

pearance of Freischutz seems

Weber

found

now

to

be confirmed.

certainly has a poetical mind, but he

is

no

musician. Not a trace of melody, not merely of pleas-

ing melody but of any sort of melody.


ideas held together solely

by the

text,

inherent musical sequence. There

even the

way

in

which the
[

is

libretto is

251

Tatters of

without any

no invention
handled

is

de-

STRAVINSKY
void of originality.
color.

A total lack of arrangement and

This music

horrible. This inversion of

is

of

beauty,
euphony, this violation
Greece have been punished by the
sanctions.
tions. It

Such music

state

with penal

contrary to police regula-

is

would give birth

to monstrosities if it

man-

to get about."

aged

It is quite certain

nowadays of sharing

from
if

would in ancient

that ^ those

who

that no one

Grillparzer'g, indignation.

tempt

as a

still

more

a merit of treating

who

musician

Far

consider themselves advanced,

they know Weber, and

know him, make

would dream

is

if

they do not

him with con-

too easy, out of date,

only to old fogies. Such

and

at the best can appeal

an

the
might perhaps be understandable on
of those who are musically illiterate, and whose

attitude

part

self-assurance

is

too often equaled only

by

their in-

for professional
competence. But what can be said
musicians when they are capable of expressing such

opinions

as,

for example, those I have heard

Scriabine? It

is

from

true that he was not speaking of

Weber, but of Schubert, but that does not alter the


case. One day when Scriabine with his usual emverbosities conphasis was pouring out ideological

252

STRAVINSKY
cerning the sublimity of art and
I,

on my

side,

began

its

great

to praise the
grace

pontiffs.,

and elegance

of Schubert's waltzes, which I

time with real pleasure.

was replaying at the


With an ironical smile of

commiseration he said: "Schubert? But look here,


that is only fit to be strummed on the
piano by
little girls!"

The Boston Symphony


winter to celebrate

would

fall in

its fiftieth

1930, by a

anniversary, which

series of festivals.

famous organization wished


interest

Orchestra decided that

them a

to give

by presenting symphonic works

written for the occasion


Koussevitzky,

who

special

specially

by contemporary composers.

has been at the head of this ad-

mirable orchestra for years, asked

by composing
The idea

This

me

to cooperate

for them.

symphony

of writing a

symphonic work of some

length had been present in

my mind for a long time,

and

I therefore gladly
accepted a proposal so thor-

oughly in accord with


alike as to the

my wishes.

form of the work and

had a free hand


as to the

of execution I might think necessary. I

means

was

tied

only by the date for the delivery of the score, but


that allowed

me

ample time.
[

255

STRAVINSKY
Symphonic form

as

nineteenth century held

asmuch

bequeathed to us by the

little

attraction for

me, in-

had flourished in a period the language


and ideas of which were all the more foreign to us
as

it

was the period from which we emerged.


As in the case of my Sonate, I wanted to create an
because

it

organic whole without conforming to the various

models adopted by custom, but


periodic order

still

retaining the

by which the symphony

guished from the

suite,

is

distin-

the latter being simply a

succession of pieces varying in character.


I also
terial

that

had under consideration the sound ma-

with which to build

my

edifice.

My idea was

my symphony should be a work with great con-

trapuntal development, and for that


to increase the

media

at

my

it

was necessary

disposal. I finally de-

cided on a choral and instrumental ensemble in

which the two elements should be on an equal footing, neither of

instance

them outweighing the

other. In this

my point of view as to the mutual relation-

ship of the vocal

and instrumental

sections coincided

with that of the masters of contrapuntal music, who


also treated them as
equals, and neither reduced the
role of the choruses to that of a

254

homophonous chant

STRAVINSKY
nor the function of the instrumental ensemble

to

that of an accompaniment.
I

sung,

among

And

ing.

my

sought for
those

words, since they were to be

which had been written

quite naturally

my

first

idea was to have

recourse to the Psalms. Soon after the

ance of

me

my

much

perform-

author asked: "Has the composer

its

Hebrew

attempted to be

too

first

symphony, a criticism was forwarded to

in which

spirit, after

for sing-

the

that

in his music

Hebrew

in

manner of Ernest Bloch, but without

is

reminiscent of the synagogue?"

This gentleman does not seem to know that


after

two thousand years the Psalms are not necwith the synagogue, but are the

essarily associated

main foundation

of the prayers, orisons, and chants

of the Church. But, apart

from

his real or pretended

ignorance, does not the ridiculous question he asks


reveal only too clearly a mentality that one encounters

more and more frequently today? Apparently

people have lost

all

capacity to treat the

Holy Scripfrom the point of view of ethor picturesqueness. That anyone

tures otherwise than

nography, history,

should take his inspiration from the Psalms without


giving a thought

to these side issues

255

appears to be

STRAVINSKY
incredible to them,

Yet

it

and so they demand explanations.

seems quite natural to them that a piece of

All these misunderjazz should be called Alleluia.


standings arise

from the

fact that people will always

upon looking in music for something that is


not there. The main thing for them is to know what
insist

what the author had in

the piece expresses, and

mind when he composed

They never seem

it.

understand that music has an entity of

from anything that

it

may

words, music interests

on elements outside

it

suggest to

them in

own

its

to

apart

them. In other

so far as it

touches

while evoking sensations with

which they are familiar.


Most people like music because

it

them

gives

tain emotions, such as joy, grief, sadness,

of nature, a subject for daydreams, or

cer-

an image

still

better

from "everyday life." They want a drug


"dope." It matters little whether this way of
oblivion

thinking of music

is

expressed directly or

is

wrapped
Music

in a veil of artificial circumlocutions.

up
would not be worth much
an end.
itself,

if it

were reduced

When people have learned to

when they listen with

ment will be

of a far higher

256

to

such

love music for

other ears, their enjoy-

and more potent order,


]

STRAVINSKY
and they will be
and

on a higher plane
value. Obviously such an

able to judge

realize its intrinsic

it

attitude presupposes a certain degree of musical

development and intellectual culture, but that


not very

difficult of

is

attainment. Unfortunately, the

teaching of music, with a few exceptions,

is

from the beginning. One has only to think of

all

bad
the

sentimental twaddle so often talked about Chopin,

Beethoven, and even about Bach

and that in

schools

for the training of professional musicians! Those

tedious commentaries on the side issues of music

not only do not facilitate

its

understanding, but, on

the contrary, are a serious obstacle which prevents


the understanding of

its

essence and substance.

All these considerations were evoked

by

my

Symphonic des Psaumes because, both by the public


and the press, the attitude I have just described was
specially manifested in regard to that work. Not-

withstanding the interest aroused by the composition, I noticed a certain perplexity caused,

not by

the music as such, but


to

by the inability of listeners


understand the reason which had led me to com-

pose a

symphony in

a spirit

which found no echo in

their mentality.

257

STRAVINSKY
As always

of late years,

phonie des Psaumes, begun

my work on the Symabout the New Year,

by reason of the numerous European concerts in which I took part either


as pianist or conductor. The Capriccio, my latest
suffered

many

interruptions

demand in various

composition, was already in

towns. I had to play

it at

Berlin, Leipzig, Bucharest,

Prague, and Winterthur. Moreover,

had

to con-

duct concerts at Diisseldorf , Brussels, and Amster-

dam. But by the beginning of the summer


last able to

devote

all

was

at

the symphony, of

my time to

had finished only one part. I had to


write the whole of the other two parts, and did so,
which, so

far, I

partly at Nice, partly at Charavines,

the latter part of the


little

Lake Paladru.

summer on

where

I spent

the shore of the

put the final touches to the

music on August 15, and was then able to concentrate quietly

on the orchestration which

had begun

at Nice.

My peregrinations began again in the autumn,


and continued

till

December.

toured

all

central

Europe, beginning with Switzerland (Basle, Zurich,

and ending with Brussels and


Amsterdam. Besides that, and in addition to Berlin
Lausanne, Geneva)

258

STRAVINSKY
and Vienna.,

Munich,

I visited

Mainz, Wiesbaden, Bremen,

Nuremberg,

Frankfort-on-Main,

Mannheim, nearly always playing


conducting

The

my

and

Capriccio or

my works.

first

European audition of the Symphonie

des Psaumes took place at the Palais des Beaux Arts


of Brussels, under the direction of Ansermet. Kous-

sevitzky gave

it

in Boston at the

which

Brussels concert at

same time. The

played

my

Capriccio,

which was repeated on the following day, has left


a very pleasant memory. Many friends had come

from Paris

hear

to

my new work,

and

was deeply

touched by their sympathy and the warmth of the


reception that the
lic.

As was

to

symphony received from

the pub-

be expected, the execution was perfect,

and the admirable choruses of the Soci<k6 Philhar-

monique once more

lived

up

to the reputation for

expert proficiency which they so justly enjoy in

Belgium.

While
saw Willy

at

Mainz and Wiesbaden

He

Strecker.

talked to

me

frequently

a good deal

about a young violinist, Samuel Dushkin, with whom

whom I had never


conversations he asked me

he had become very friendly and


met. In the course of our

259

STRAVINSKY
I should care to write

whether

something for the

should find a readding that in Dushkin I


markable executant. I hesitated at first, because I
violin,

am

not a

violinist,

and

was afraid that

my

be
knowledge of that instrument would not
to enable

sufficient

me to solve the many problems which would

a
necessarily arise in the course of
specially

slight

composed for

it.

major work

But Willy Strecker allayed

my doubts by assuring me that Dushkin would place


himself entirely at my disposal in order to furnish
any

technical details I

was very

conditions the plan


as it

would give

might require. Under such

me

alluring,, particularly

a chance of studying seriously

the special technique of the violin.

When he learned

had in principle accepted Strecker's proposal,


Dushkin came to Wiesbaden to make my acquaintthat I

had not previously met him or heard him


play. All I knew was that he had studied the violin
and music in general in America, where, in his
ance. I

early childhood, he

had been adopted by the Amer-

ican composer, Blair Fairchild, a


tinction, rare kindness,

man

of great dis-

and a mind remarkable for

its delicate
sensibility.

From our

first

meeting
[

260

could see that Dush-

STRAVINSKY
kin was

all

Willy Strecker had said. Before


had been a little doubtful, in spite

that

knowing him

of the weight that I attached to the recommendation

man

of a

Strecker. I

knew

of such finished culture as

was afraid of Dushkin

that for virtuosi there

dangers that they were not

my

friend

as a virtuoso. I

were temptations and

all

capable of overcom-

ing. In order to succeed they are obliged to seek

im-

mediate triumphs and to lend themselves to the


wishes of the public ; the great majority of

demand

sensational effects

from the

whom

player. This

preoccupation naturally influences their taste ; their


choice of music ; and their
piece selected.

How many

manner

of treating the

admirable compositions,

for instance ; are set aside because they do not offer

the player any opportunity of shining with facile


brilliancy! Unfortunately; they often cannot help

themselves 7 fearing the competition of their rivals


and; to be frank; the loss of their bread and butter.

an exception in this respect among many of his fellow players ; and I was

Dushkin

is

certainly

very glad to find in him; besides his remarkable


gifts as a

born

violinist;

understanding; and

a musical culture; a delicate

in the exercise of his profes-

261

STRAVINSKY
an abnegation that

sion

very rare. His beautiful

is

mastery of technique comes from the magnificent


school of Leopold Auer, that marvelous teacher to

whose instruction we owe nearly


violinists of today.

the celebrated

all

A Jew, like the great majority of

leading violinists, Dushkin possesses

all

those innate

which make representatives of that race the

gifts

unquestionable masters of the violin.

names among these

virtuosi

The

greatest

have in fact a Jewish

sound. Their owners should be proud of them,


it is difficult to

sist

understand

why

and

most of them per-

in prefixing Russian diminutives such as are

generally used only

among

Alexander they

themselves Sacha; instead of

call

intimates. Instead of

Jacob or James, Yasha; instead of Michael, Misha.

Being ignorant of the language and usages of Russia, foreigners can have no idea of how such lack of

though one spoke of Julot Massenet or Popol Dukas!


taste jars. It is as

began the composition of the

first

Concerto pour Violon early in 1931.

about a month to

it

when

for the time being, as I

had

go

to leave it

to Paris

and Lon-

don. In Paris I took part in two concerts


given
[

262

my

had devoted

was obliged
to

part of

by

STRAVINSKY
Ansermet. In the

first,

on February 20,

played

my

and on February 24 I conducted my Symphonic des Psaumes at its first Paris audition. On
Capriccio,

this occasion

my

work with the

ticularly interesting to

me

was parbecause the Columbia


orchestra

firm had arranged with Ansermet that records

made

should be

of the

symphony

at the

Th4&tre des

Champs-filys^es, during which I was to prepare for


the concert.
fit

The performance could not

this, as

by

fail to

the rehearsals had to be conducted

with that exceptionally minute care which


is

already pointed out,

was

It

March
first

bene-

at the

demanded by

as I

have

all records.

Courtauld-Sargent Concerts, on

5 and 4, that

played

my

Capriccio for the

time in London. These concerts bear the

name

of their founder, Mrs. Courtauld, who, animated

by the

best intentions, ably seconded

by the conduc-

had by her energy infused life into a


musical undertaking which might well have betor Sargent,

come

still

more important under her

was the patron of young


terested in

new

artists

influence.

She

and sincerely in-

works, so that the programs of her

were frequently differentiated by their


freshness from the routine and colorless programs
concerts

263

STRAVINSKY
which generally characterize the musical life of
great centers., London included. Alas patrons of her
!

quality become

more and more

rare,

and the prema-

ture death of this generous benefactor cannot be too

The

deeply deplored.

organization

survives

her

death, but no longer bears the special imprint given

by the enthusiasm
I

up

was glad

to

of

its

founder.

return to Nice and be able to take

my Concerto again. The first part was completed

at the

end of March, and

This took up

all

my

began the other two.


time, and it was made particuI

by the enthusiasm and understanding


with which Dushkin followed my progress. I was
larly pleasant

not a complete novice in handling the violin.


Apart
from my pieces for the string quartet and numerous
passages in Pulcinella, I

had had

occasion, particu-

larly in the Histoire d'un Soldat, to tackle the tech-

nique of the violin as a solo instrument. But a


concerto certainly offered a far vaster field of
experience.

To know the

technical possibilities of an in-

strument without being able to


play
to have that
technique in one's

it is

one thing

tips is

finger
quite
another. I realized the
and
before
difference,
beginthe
work
I
consulted
who is a
ning

Hindemith,

264

per-

STRAVINSKY
feet violinist. I asked

him whether the

not play the violin would make

fact that I did

itself felt

in

my

composition,. Not only did he allay my doubts, but


he went further and told me that it would be a very

good thing, as it would make me avoid a routine


technique, and would give rise to ideas which would
not be suggested by the familiar movement of the
fingers.

had barely begun the composition of the last


part of the Concerto when I had to see to our removal from Nice to Voreppe in Is&re, where I had
I

taken. a small property for the summer. I

had de-

cided to leave Nice after having lived there for seven


years,

and

at first

thought of living in Paris, but the

pure air of the Is&re valley, the peacefulness of the


country, a very beautiful garden, and a large, comfortable house induced us to settle there for good,

and there we stayed for three


ished

my

latest

composition

years.

There

I fin-

among half-unpacked

trunks and boxes and the- coming and going of re-

movers, upholsterers, electricians, and plumbers.


faithful Dushkin,

far

from

My

who was near Grenoble and not

us, used to

come

was assiduously studying


[

to see

me

every day.

his part so as to be

265

He

ready

STRAVINSKY
Rundfunk had secured the

in time, as the Berlin

which was

audition of the Concerto,

first

played under

my direction

as

it

There

was

be

on October 25.

After conducting concerts at Oslo


Berlin.

to

went

to

my new work was very well received,

also

in

Frankfort-on-Main, London,
and
Paris, where Dushkin and I
Cologne, Hanover,
played in November and December. In an interval

between concerts

about a fortnight at

hear the

first

Hindemith

and Darmstadt, I spent


Wiesbaden, and so was able to

at Halle

performance of a
his cantata

at the centenary festival

new

composition

Das Unaufhorliche, given


of the Mainz Liedertafel.

This composition, large alike in

and the varied character of

size

and substance

parts, offers

its

lent opportunity for


getting into touch

author's individuality,
talent

and

life of

illuminating principle amid so

our day

of

is

very
wholesome and

much

Far from having exhausted

to write yet

with the

The appearance

brilliant mastery.

fortunate, for he stands out as a

my

an excel-

and for admiring his rich

Hindemith in the musical

violin,

by

obscurity.

my interest

in the

Concerto, on the contrary, impelled

me

another important work for that instru[

266

STRAVINSKY
had formerly had no great liking for a combination of piano and strings but a deeper knowl-

ment.

edge of the violin and close collaboration with a


technician like Dushkin had revealed possibilities I

longed

seemed desirable to

to explore. Besides, it

open up a wider

chamber

field for

concerts,

music by means of

my

which are

so

much

easier to ar-

of
range, as they do not require large orchestras

high quality, which are so costly and so rarely to be


found except in big cities. This gave me the idea of
that I
writing a sort of sonata for violin and piano
called

Concertant and which, together with

Duo

transcriptions of a

few of

other works, was to

my

form the program of recitals that I proposed


with Dushkin in Europe and America.

to give

of 1 931
began the Duo Concertant at the end
and finished it on the July 1 5 following. Its comI

position

is

which had

closely connected in
just appeared

lighted me.

It

my mind with a book

and which had greatly de-

was the remarkable Petrarch of

Charles Albert Cingria, an author of rare sagacity


and deep originality. Our work had a great deal in

common. The same


and, although

subjects occupied our thoughts,

we were now living


[

267

far apart and sel-

STRAVINSKY
dom saw

each other, the close agreement between

our views, our

and our

tastes.,

ticed

when we

only

still

first

existed,

which

ideas,

met twenty years

but seemed even

to

had no-

before, not

have grown

with the passing of the years.


"Lyricism cannot exist without rules, and
they should be

essential that
is

it is

Otherwise there

strict.

only a faculty for lyricism, and that exists every-

where.

What

does not exist everywhere

pression and composition.


ticeship to a trade

is

To

is

lyrical ex-

achieve that, appren-

necessary." These words of

Cingria seemed to apply with the utmost appropriateness to the

work

had in hand.

create a lyrical composition, a

My object was to

work of musical

versi-

was more than ever experiencing the


advantage of a rigorous discipline which gives a
taste for the craft and the satisfaction of
being able
fication,

to apply

and

and more particularly in work of a

it

cal character. It

to

quote in

words of one who

is

regarded

this connection the

above

all as

a lyrical composer. This

kovsky says in one of his

compose

have made

what the most

lyri-

would be appropriate

it

letters

what Tchai-

"Since I began to

my object to be, in my craft,

illustrious masters

is

268

were in theirs 5

STRAVINSKY
that

is

wanted

to say, I

shoemaker

to be, like

them, an artisan,

... [They] composed their


immortal works exactly as a shoemaker makes shoes ;
just as a

that

is

to say,

to order."

day

How

is.

day

in,

true that

out,
is!

and for the most part

Did not Bach, Handel,

Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, to cite the best-known


names, and even leaving the early Italians out of
consideration, compose their works in that

The

spirit

and form of

were determined by my love


antiquity and their scholarly

way?

Concertant

of the pastoral poets of


art

and technique. The

had chosen developed through all the


movements of the piece which forms an integral

theme that
five

my Duo

whole, and, as

it

were, offers a musical parallel to

the old pastoral poetry.

The work was

interrupted only

by

few con-

Antwerp, Florence, and Milan. Its first performance was in Berlin on October 28, 1932, at the

certs at

broadcasting station, where, under

Dushkin

also

then gave a

played

my

my

direction,

Concerto pour Fiolon.

series of recitals for

We

piano and violin,

the programs including the above-mentioned transcriptions as well as the

Duo

Concertant.

We played

that winter at Danzig, Paris, Munich, London, and

269

STRAVINSKY
Winterthur, and in between

conducted and played

at Konigsberg,

Hamburg, Ostrava, Paris, Budapest,


Milan, Turin, and Rome. My visits to the Italian
towns

left a particularly pleasant impression. I

always delighted to go
I
is

to Italy, a

increased

this

admiration

by the marvelous regenerative

which has manifested


years,

and

tion. I

had proof of

is still

conducted

country for which

And

have the deepest admiration.

my

itself

works

phonie des Psaumes

effort

there for the last ten

manifesting
this in

am

itself

my own

among

in every direc-

domain when

others,

the

Sym-

with the orchestra of the

Turin Radio, a new and distinguished organization.

stein

At the beginning of 1955, Mme Ida Rubinhad inquired whether I would consent to write

the music for a

planned before

wished

to stage. I

of January

where

poem by Andr6 Gide, which he had


the war and which Mme Rubinstein

agreed in principle, and at the end

Andr

happened

Gide joined
to

be staying.

me at Wiesbaden,
He showed me his

poem, which was taken from the superb Homeric

hymn

to

Demeter. The author expressed his will-

ingness to

make any modification

in the text re-

quired by the music and under such conditions an

270

STRAVINSKY

A few months later

agreement was quickly reached.


I

received the

on

first

part of the

poem and

set to

work

it.

With
lines

the exception of two melodies for some

by Verlaine

this

was

my

first

experience of

composing music for French words. I had always


been afraid of the difficulties of French prosody.

Although I had been living in France for twenty


years, and had spoken the language from childhood,
I

had

now

until

now

hesitated to use

decided to try

my

it

in

my

music. I

hand, and was more and

more pleased as my work proceeded. What I most


enjoyed was syllabifying the music to French, as I
had done for Russian in Les Noces, and for Latin in
(Edipus Rex.
I

worked

at the

music of Persephone from

May, 1933, till I finished it at the end of the year.


In November I gave several concerts in Spain. At
Barcelona, at a festival which

conducted, I had the

my son Sviatoslav to the public for


He played my Capriccio. He made his

joy of presenting
the

first

time.

Paris debut a year later with the


tra,

when he

symphony

played the Capriccio and

pour Piano under

my direction.
C

271

orches-

my Concerto

STRA FINSKY
In March, 1954, having finished the orches-

was

tral score, I

to

Copenhagen
I

able to undertake a journey to

play

my Capriccio for the radio,

and

then made a concert tour with Dushkin in Lithu-

ania and Latvia.

On my

return to Paris, I took part

in one of Siohan's concerts.

He had

recently been

put in charge of the chorus at the Op6ra.

He had

al-

ready had the chorus make a careful study of the


several parts of Persephone, so that

rehearsals I found

the orchestra,

But again,
fatal

question, but
is

known
few

when the
it is

its

form.

had no end of trouble over the

maybe some justi-

current opera repertory

absurd and harmful

not in the ordinary program,


to the musicians,

and

is to

is

when

is

in

the

wholly un-

be given only a

was given only three times


on April 50 and May 4 and

times. Persephone

at the Paris
9,

was, as usual, at the top of

as usual, I

it

I started

them very well prepared. As for

custom of deputizing. There

fication for

work

it

when

1954.

Op6ra

My participation

ing the music. The scenic

was limited

effects

to conduct-

were created with-

out consulting me. I should like here to


express
appreciation of the efforts

made by Kurt

master choreographer, and

my

272

my

Jooss, as

regret that the poet

STRAVINSKY
was absent both from rehearsals and the actual performances. But the incident is all too recent for me
to discuss it

On
when
in

with the necessary detachment.

the other hand, I was completely satisfied

I conducted

London

at the

at a B.B.C. concert

Persephone

end of

Mme Ida Rubinstein

954.

lent her valuable services,

and

the excellent tenor who, with his


so

Ren6 Maison,
musical flair, had

so did

admirably rendered the songs of Eumolpus

at the

Paris performances.

Now that I have spoken about my last big composition, I


date,

and

have brought

it is

time to end

jective I set before

word? Have
self?

Have

is

Have

up

my

fore-

given the reader a true picture of

my

to

I attained the ob-

I dispelled all the misconceptions

hope

The

it.

chronicle almost

myself as described in

have accumulated about


ality? I

my

work and

my

my-

which

person-

so.

reader will have discovered that

not a diary.

He

will not

my book

have found any lyrical


have deliber-

outpourings or intimate confessions.

ately avoided all that sort of thing.

Where

spoken of

my

been only

so far as

tastes,

my

likes

and

was necessary
[

275

have

dislikes, it

to indicate

has

what

STRAVINSKY

my ideas, my convictions, and my point of view,


and to describe my attitude towards other mentaliare

In short,

ties.

have striven

ambiguity what

hold

any

without any

be the truth.

to

would be vain,

It

for

to set forth

also, to seek in

these pages

aesthetic doctrine, a philosophy of art, or

even a romantic description of the pangs experienced by the musician in giving birth to his creations, or of his rapture

inspiration.

tion

For me,

when

the

muse brings him

as a creative musician,

composi-

a daily function that I feel compelled to dis-

is

charge. I compose because I

am made

for that

and

cannot do otherwise. Just as any organ atrophies unless

kept in a state of constant activity, so the faculty

of composition becomes enfeebled and dulled unless

kept up by effort and practice.

The

uninitiated

im-

agine that one must await inspiration in order to

That

create.

there

is

am

a mistake. I

far

from saying that

no such thing as inspiration quite the


opIt is found as a
force
in
kind
of
driving
every

is

posite.

human
ists.

and

But that force

effort,

by

activity,

and that

eating, so

is

is

in

to art-

only brought into action by an

effort is

work. Just

work brings
[

no wise peculiar

as appetite

comes

inspiration, if inspiration

274

STRAVINSKY
not discernible at the
beginning. But it is not simply inspiration that counts 5 it is the result of inspirais

that

tion

is,

the composition.

At the beginning

of

my

career as a composer I

was a good deal spoiled by the public. Even such


things as were at first received with hostility were
soon afterwards acclaimed. But I have a
very distinct feeling that in the course of the last fifteen
written work has estranged me from the
great mass of my listeners. They expected something

years

my

from me. Liking the music of UQiseau de


Feu, Petroushka, Le Sacre, and Les Noces and being
different

accustomed

to the

astonished to

language of those works they are


hear me speaking in another idiom.
?

They cannot and


of

my

will not follow

musical thought.

me

in the progress

What moves and

delights

me leaves them
to

indifferent, and what still continues


interest them holds no further attraction for me.

For that
real

matter., I believe that there

communion

and

it

was seldom any

of spirit between us. If

it

happened
that we liked the same

still

happens
things, I very much doubt whether it was for the
same reasons. Yet art postulates communion, and
the artist has an imperative need to
[

275

make

others

STRAVINSKY
share the joy which he experiences himself. But, in

need ; he prefers direct and frank opapparent agreement which is based on

spite of that

position to

misunderstanding.
Unfortunately, perfect

communion is rare and


;

more the personality of the author is revealed


the rarer that communion becomes. The more he
the

eliminates

own

all

that is extraneous,

or "in him/' the greater

is

all

that

is

not his

his risk of conflict-

ing with the expectations of the bulk of the public,

who

always receive a shock

when

confronted

by

which they are not accustomed.


The author's need for communion is all-embrac-

something

to

ing, but unfortunately that


ideal, so that

something

he

less.

is

only an unattainable

is

compelled to content himself with

In

my own

case, I find that

'

the general public no longer gives

me

the enthusi-

astic reception of earlier days, that does

way prevent

a large

number

while

of listeners,

not in any

mainly of

young generation, from acclaiming my work


with all the old ardor. I wonder whether, after all,
the

it is

simply a matter of the generation?

very doubtful whether Rimsky-Korsakov


would ever have accepted Le Sacre, or even PeIt is

276

STRA VINSKY
troushka. Is
critics

any wonder, then, that the hyper-

it

of today should

"be

dumfounded by

a lan-

guage in which all the characteristics of their


aesthetic seem to be violated? What, however, is less
justifiable is that

thor for what

is

they nearly always blame the au-

in fact due to their

prehension, a lack

made

all

the

own lack of com-

more conspicuous

because in their inability to state their grievance

incom-

clearly they cautiously try to conceal their

petence in the looseness and vagueness of their


phraseology.

Their attitude certainly cannot make


ate

my

from

my

devi-

path. I shall assuredly not sacrifice

predilections

mands

me

and

my

aspirations to

the de-

of those who, in their blindness, do not realize

that they are simply asking

me

to

go backwards.

It

should be obvious that what they wish for has be-

come

obsolete for

me, and that

them without doing


other hand,
as

it

I could

not follow

violence to myself. But, on the

would be a great mistake

to

regard

me

an adherent of Zukunftsmusik

the music of the

Nothing could be more

ridiculous. I live

future*

neither in the past nor in the future, I


present. I cannot

know what tomorrow


[

277

am

in the

will bring

STRAVINSKY
forth. I can

day. That
serve

it

in

is

know only what


what

am

the truth

called

all lucidity.

278

upon

is

for

me

to serve,

to-

and

k*W\Wl*VWV

INDEX
Afanasyev, Alexander, 111
Albert, Eugen d', 14
Alexander III, Tsar, 41
Alfonso XIII,
King of
Spain, 99, 147, 209
Edmond, 131

Augusta Victoria, Kaiserin,


66
Augusteo Concerts, Rome,
193
Auric, Georges, 176

Allegra,

Andersen, Hans Christian,


35, 79, 102, 250-231
Andrese, Volkmar, 198
Ansermet, Ernest, 80, 8586, 91, 92-93, 103, 104,
105, 108, 110-111, 117-

Bach, Johann Sebastian,


239, 240, 257, 269
Baiser de la Fde, Le (S)
222, 229-235, 249
Bakst, Lckm, 56, 67, 91, 103,
105, 156

119, 120, 132, 160, 162,

Balafcirev, Mill, 9

172-173, 188, 216, 234,


235, 250, 259, 263
Antigone (Cocteau) , 197
Apollo Musagetes (S) 21 1-

Balanchine, Georges, 225


Balla, Giacomo, 103
Ballet Russe, 39, 41-42, 45-

46,50,51,52,54,56,57,

212, 214, 215, 222-223,


225-227, 229, 231, 248,

66, 68-69, 72-74, 92-93,

94-95, 98, 103, 125, 126,


133, 145, 147, 148, 150,
155-156, 162, 193-194,
208, 225-226, 227, 244,
249-250.

249

Apr-midi d'un Faune,

(Debussy) ,56-57
Arensky, Anton, 41
Arts Club, Chicago, 191
Auberjonois, Rene\ 86, 111,

117
Auer, Leopold, 14, 262
Works by Stravinsky

are

Balmont, Constantine, 54

Barahau

(Rieti)

225

Bauchant, Andre*, 226


Bayreuth festival, 58-62
marked (S)
,

279

INDEX
220, 247,
Capriccio (S)
250, 251, 258, 259, 263,

Beethoven, Ludwig van, 52,


181-186, 187, 238, 257,

271, 272

269

Carmen

18
(Bizet)
Carnaval (Schumann) 42,
92
Carpenter, John Alden, 191

Belaieff Mitrophan, 14, 15,


,

18,37,152

Benois, Alexandre, 50, 51,


53, 80, 229

B&rard, Christian, 197


Berceuse (S),101
Berceuses du Chat (S)
96,101, 131

Rue (Mrs. John


191
Alden),
Casella, Alfredo, 77, 88
Casse Noisette (TchaikovCarpenter,

85,

Berlioz, Hector, 153


Berners, Lord, 88-89, 105,

sky) 230
Cassiodorus, 211

104, 106, 108


Biches, Les (Poulenc)

Chabrier, Alexis, 17, 28-29,

Cecchetti, Enrico, 91

176

174

Bischoff, Henri, 86
Bizet, Georges, 17

Chanel, Gabrielle, 145


Chanson de VOurs (S)

Bloch, Ernest, 255

Blumenfeld, Felix, 16,

37

Bolm, Adolphe, 222


Boris Godounov (Moussorgsky) 72
Borodin, Alexander, 9, 13
Boston Symphony Orchestra, 117, 253
,

Bouffon (Chout)
147-148
iev)

(Prokof-

101

Chansons Plaisantes (Ramuz -Stravinsky) 85


Chant du Rossignol, Le (S)
126, 132-133, 194
Chant Funebre (S) 37
Chavannes, Fernant, 86
,

Chopin, Frederic, 38,


Chout., see Bouffon

257

Cicogna, Count G., 206


Cimarosa, Domenico, 173
Cingria, Alexandre, 86

Boulanger, Nadia, 190


Brahms, Johannes, 13

Braque, Georges, 176


Broadcasting Corporation, 209,219, 249
Bruckner, Anton, 1 3
Busoni, Ferruccio, 170

Cingria, Charles Albert, 86,

267-268

British

Buxtehude, Dietrich, 239

Canuedo, Ricciotto, 76

Cinq Doigts, Les (S) 143


Cinq Pieces Faciles (S), 100
Clark, Edward, 219
Clementi, Muzio, 180
CUopdtre (Schmitt) , 66-67
Cloez, Gustave, 234

280

INDEX
Cocteau,

Jean,

105,

145,

197-198, 201, 207-208


Collaer, Paul, 172
Colombe, La (Gounod) 1 74
Colonne, Judas, 52

Dargomijsky, Alexander,
153
Debussy, Claude Achilla,

27,28,47,55,56,57-58,

Columbia Gramophone
235,263

Co.,

Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, 188,218


Concertino (S) 159
Concerto pour Piano (S)

63, 76-77, 140-142

Degas, Edgar, 184


Delage, Maurice, 77
Delibes, Le*o, 17
Diaghileff, Serge, 25-26, 58,

39,40, 41,42-44,45,46,
48,50,51,53,55-56,58-

163, 168, 177, 178, 179,


180, 187-188, 191-192,
193, 198, 220-221, 248,
249, 250, 271
talon (S) ,
Concerto pour

59, 65, 64-66, 67, 68, 70,


71, 72, 75, 74,77,79-80,

81, 86-89, 91-95, 94-95,

96-97,98, 102,105, 104105, 108, 117, 124-126,

262, 264-267, 269


Congressional Library,

127, 150, 155,


147, 150-151,
160, 161, 164,
175, 174-175,
209, 222, 225,
247, 249

Washington, 210
Coolidge, Elizabeth

Sprague, 210
Cooper, fimile, 81
Coq d'Or, Le (RimskyKorsakov), 80, 102, 149

Courtauld-Sargent Concerts,

London, 265-264
Cui, C(5sar, 9
Czerny, Karl, 178

145, 145,
153, 155,

165, 167,
176, 208,

226, 245-

Dieu Bleu, Le (Hahn) 57


,

Dolin, Anton, 176

Doubrovska, Felia, 225


Dresdner Lehrergesangsverein,

247

Dukas, Paul, 28
Duo Art (/Eolian) Co., 215

Dagens Nyheder, Copenha-

Duo

gen, 199
Dani<51ou, Jean, 201

269
Dushkin, Samuel, 259-262,
265, 266, 267, 269, 272

Danilova, Alexandra, 225


Danses du Prince Igor, Les
(Borodin) 42, 46, 193
Daphnis et Chlo& (Ravel),
57
,

Concertant

Easy Duets

(S)

(S)

267,

146

Editions Russes, Les, 199-

281

200
]

INDEX
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang
von, 85
Goldoni, Carlo, 105

Education Manquee, L'


(Chabrier), 174, 175

Eighth Symphony (Beethoven) 238

Goncharova,
168

Errazuris,

Mme Eugenia de,

Euryanthe, 251-252

Fdcheux, Les (Auric)


Fairchild, Blair, 260

Manuel

76

174, 175

de, 47,

77,

Grillparzer, Franz,

209-210

Faune

et

Bergere (S)
28
Faust (Gounod), 18

54

(S)

104, 220

Haydn, Joseph, 180, 269


Hindemith, Paul, 169, 264265, 266

Flonzaley Quartet, 139


Fokine, Michel, 41, 42, 45,
46,57,63, 199
Four Russian Songs (S)
124
Francis of Assisi, St., 196
,

Franck, Cesar, 28

Die

Handel, George Frederick,


269

36, 103,

Fitelberg, Grzegorz, 162


Five, the, 9, 13, 16,152

Freischiitz,

(Weber)

251-252

Hahn, Reynaldo, 57
Halleux, Laurent, 172

Faure", Gabriel,

Feud'Artifice

91,

Good-humored Ladies, The


(Scarlatti
Tommasini)
105, 126,127
Goossens, Eugene, 148, 248
Gounod, Charles, 17, 153,

98
Essipova, Annette, 14

Falla,

Natalie,

Histoire d'un Soldat, L (S)


112, 115-117, 118, 120122, 125, 126, 131, 167,
169, 170, 222, 247, 264
3

Hofmann,

Josef,

14

Huf, Paul, 219


Ice Maiden^

The (Ander-

sen)

251

250-231; also see

Baiser de la Fee,

Furtwangler, Wilhelm, 188

Musical
Moscow, 14

Imperial

Gagnebin, filie, 116


Gide, Andre, 270-271, 272-

Le
Society,

Imperial Society for the En-

273

couragement of Art, Mos-

Glazounov, Alexander, 13,


15-17, 33, 41, 152
Glinka, Mikhail, 7-8,
108, 152, 153, 154

40,

cow, 26

Indy, Vincent d', 28


International Exhibition,

Rome, 51
[

282

INDEX
Iturbi, Jose*, 131
Izvestia,

Liszt, Franz, 153


Little House in

Moscow, 182-183

Kolomna,

The (Pushkin), 153;


Mavra

Janacopoulos, Vera, 193,

209
Jeux (Debussy), 63, 76-77

Litvinne, FSlia, 92

Joergensen, Jolaannes, 196


Jooss, Kurt, 272
Jota Aragonaise, La (Glin-

Machine

ka)

108

Karsavina, Thamar, 41, 45,

55
Khovanstchina

(Moussorg-

sky), 70, 71

Klemperer, Otto, 198-199,

209,217,223-224,249
Kochno, Boris, 154-155.
Korovine, Constantine, 247
28,
Koussevitzky,
Serge,
123, 148, 150, 171, 177,
178, 179, 191, 199, 253,

259
Koussevitzky,

Mme

Serge,

199

Lac des Cygnes, Le (Tchaikovsky) 40, 230


Larkmov, Mikhail, 91, 161
,

Laurencin, Marie, 176

League of Composers,
York, 222

New

226

Life for the Tsar,


(Glinka) 7

La

(Cocteau), 197
Mackay, Clarence H., 189

Madrid (S), 109


Mainz Liedertafel, 266
Maison,Ren, 273
Mallarme", Stphane, 184
Maria Christina, Dowager
Queen of Spain, 99, 147

Massine, Leonide, 91, 92,


103, 105, 126, 127, 130,
133-134, 143-144, 194

Masson, Louis, 173


Matisse, Henri, 126

Mavra

(S)
153-154, 158,
160, 161-162, 163, 172,
,

217,222
Midecin Malgrd Lui, Le
(Gounod), 174
Mtdecin Malgrd Lui, Le
(Moliire) 229
,

Mengelberg, Willem, 188,


191
Menter, Sophie, 14
Milhaud, Darius, 176

Mir Iskoustva

Leschetitzky, Theodor, 14
Liadov, Anatol, 16, 27
Lifar, Serge,

Infernale,

see

of Art")

The World

25-26

Mitoussov, Stepan, 25, 35


Molifcre, Jean-Baptiste de,

229
Molinari, Bernardino, 195

285

INDEX
Octuor pour Instruments a
Vent (S), 162-165, 170-

Monteux, Pierre, 52, 72, 80,


117,216
Montjoie, Paris, 76

171, 172,

Moussorgsky, Modest,
70-72
Mozart,
deus,

9, 15,

Wolfgang Ama180, 186,269

Napoleon

I,

Emperor

of the

275
Onnou, Alphonse, 172

French, 184

Napoleon

Emperor

III,

180,248

Oeberg, Ernest, 199


CEdipus Rex (S) 168, 198,
20J-202, 206-209, 217,
218-219, 220, 221, 222,
247, 271
Oiseau de Feu, L (S) 59,
42, 44-46, 47, 54, 66, 67,
68, 72, 92, 95, 99, 105,
104, 125, 214, 220, 221,

Moodie, Alma, 198


Mora, Jean, 86
Mora, Rene, 86

of

Orchestre de la Suisse Ro-

the French, 174

mande, Geneva, 152

Napravnik, Eduard, 14-15


Nemtchinova, Vera, 176
New York Philharmonic Orchestra, 189, 191
Nicholas I, Tsar, 112
Nicholas II, Tsar, 105

Pan Voivoda (Rimsky-Kor-

Nijinska, Bronislava, 160,


161, 165, 176, 252-255,

Parade

254, 245

Orchestre Symphonique de

sakov), 51
(Satie)

de,

58, 145-146

54

Nikitina, Alice,

225

Noces, Les

85, 86, 90,

Pathetic

92,

95,

105,

Vicomte

fivariste,

Parsifal (Wagner)
Pasini, Laura, 205
Pastorale (S) 55

(S)

200

Paitchadze", Gabriel,

Parny,

Nijinsky, Vaslav, 41, 42-45,


55, 55-57, 62-66, 75-75,
94-95, 145

255

Paris,

58-60

164-

108,

168, 171, 180, 221, 222,

225,254,271,275
Nocturne (Chopin) 58

(Tchai-

kovsky) , 9
Pavlova, Anna, 41, 45

PelUas

et

bussy)

Nouvel, Walter, 26
Novice, La (S) 55

Symphony

Mdlisande
58

(De-

Giovanni,

126-

Pergolesi,

128, 150

Nuit a Madrid, Une

Persephone (Gide) , 220,


222, 270-271, 272-275

(Glinka), 108

284

INDEX
Peter I, Tsar, 50, 151
Petipa, Marius, 41, 155

Petrarch

(C.

Porta,

Praetorius, Michael,

(S)

Pribaoutki (S) 85, 96, 101,


151
Pro Arte Quartet, 1 72
Pro Arte Society, 1 72

47, 48-50,

51,55-54,58,66,68,69,
80, 99, 104, 147, 199,
202, 205-206, 217, 221,
222, 275, 276-277

Prokofiev, Serge, 89,

Petroushka (piano arrangement) see Three Movements from Pctroushka

Pulcinella

(S)
127, 129151, 155-154, 172, 194,

191-192
Baucis
1 74
Philipp, Isidore, 190
ct

(Gounod)

151, 152, 155, 154

Piano Rag Music

(S)

Pablo,

105,

105-

106, 127, 150, 155-154,

145
Piern<, Gabriel, 46
Pierrot Lunaire (Sclionberg)

Racz, Aladar, 95
(S), 125, 129, 151,

Ragtime

195
Harrmz, Charles Ferdinand,
85,

86, 100, 107, 108,


110-112, 124
Ravel, Maurice, 47, 57, 71,

67

Dame

Pique

Quatre &tudes pour Orchestre (S), 109

129,

151
Picasso,

(Tchaikov-

250
George, 116

Ludmila, 116
Pleyel's, 158-159, 160, 214,
Pitoeff,

215

72, 77,

Reisenauer, Alfred, 14

Pochon, Alfred, 159


,

214

Reiner, Fritz, 191-192


Reinhart, Werner, 1 1 1, 122,
151, 198

Renard

Pofemes de Mallarm^

198,221, 264
Pushkin, Alexander, 54,

Philadelphia Orchestra,

PhiUmon

147,

245

vel)

250

Pr6vost, Germain, 172

Pctroushka

Pitoeff,

151

Poulenc, Francis, 176

A. Cingria)

267

sky)

Jose",

(S)

90, 94, 95, 96,

100, 101, 160-161, 221,

245

(Ra-

Retablo de Maese Pedro, El

72

Pokrovsky, Ivan, 17, 18, 26


Polignac, Princess Edmond
de,94, 160, 168, 178,208

(de Falla) 209


Revue Musicale, Paris, 140
,

Richter, Hans, 15

285

INDEX
Rieti, Vittorio,

Sargent, Harold

225

Rimsky-Korsakov,

Andreyevitch, 6-7,

8,

9,

13, 15-17, 19, 22-25,27,

50-53, 34, 35-36, 37, 58,


40, 70, 71, 72, 80, 92,

152,276

Malcolm

Watts, 263

Nikolai

145-146
Domenico, 126
Schalk, Franz, 218
Scheherazade (RimskyKorsakov) 195
Scherzo Fantastique (S) 55
Schmitt, Florent, 47, 65, 77
Schonberg, Arnold, 67
Schott Sohne, Mainz, 249
Schubert, Franz, 52, 252255
Schumann, Robert, 155
Scriabine, Alexander, 252255
Secret Mariage, Le (Cimarosa), 174
194Serenade en LA (S)
195, 248
Satie, Erik, 58, 88,
Scarlatti,

Roerich, Nicholas, 48, 55


Romanov, Boris, 63, 206
Rosee, Sainte (S) 35
Rossel, Gabriel, 116

Rossignol, Le (S) 25, 35,


38, 78-80, 81, 102, 202,

203, 205, 218, 222


Rousseau, Henri Julien (le
douanier) , 226
Rubinstein, Anton, 16, 19
Rubinstein, Arthur, 129

Rubinstein, Ida, 229, 231,


234, 270, 273

Rundfunk

(Radio)

Berlin,

217, 266

Ruslan and Ludmilla


(Glinka) 8, 40
Russian Symphony

Alexander, 28, 57
Siohan, Robert, 272

Con-

Leningrad, 14, 15,

37
Sacre du Print emps,

Serov, Valentine, 51
Siloti,

certs,

Serov, Alexander, 8

Le

(S)

47-48, 49, 54, 55, 57, 58,


62, 63-64, 66, 69, 72-76,
80, 141, 143-145, 147,
148, 149, 202, 215-216,
218, 222, 249, 275, 276

Sleeping Beauty, The


(Tchaikovsky), 41, 150151, 155-157, 230
Smallens, Alexander, 222

Snegourotchka (RimskyKorsakov) 92
Societa de' Ente Concert!
Orchestrali, Milan, 206
Soci&te" des Nouveaux Concerts, 171-172
,

Societe" Internationale

Sadoven, Helene, 218-219

la

Salome (Schmitt), 63

raine, 196

286

Musique

pour
Contempo-

INDEX
Philharmonique de
247
S aerate (Satie) 58

Socie'te'

Paris,

Tchaikovsky, Piotr Ilyitch,


9, 10, 13, 17, 33, 40-41,
150, 152, 153, 154, 155,

Soirees

of

Contemporary
Music, Moscow, 26, 28,
35

Sokolov, Nikolai A., 16


Sokolova, Lydia, 144

Soldi de Minuit) Le (Blmsky-Korsakov) 92


Sonate (S) 168, 180-181,
,

Tcherepnin, Nikolai Nikolaievitch, 16, 41


Tchernichova, Lubov, 225
Tenicheva, Princess, 55
Thoran, Cornell de, 234

Three Movements from


Petroushka (S) 154
,

Tilim-Bum

196,248,254
Souvenirs de

229,230,231,268-269

mon Enfance

(S),78
Souvenirs sur Igor Stravinsky (Ramuz) 86
State Choral Society, Leningrad, 221
Stock, Frederick, 191

Stravinsky,
87, 246

Mme

101

Tommasini, Vincenzo, 105


Toscanini, Arturo, 202-205
Train Bleu, Le (Milhaud)

176

Stokowski, Leopold, 192


Strauss, Richard, 67

(S)

Tristan und Isolde


ner) , 69, 175

(Wag-

of Neptune, The
(Lord Berners) 89
Troi$ Petites Pieces pour
Quatuor a Cordes (S)
172

Triumph

Igor, 53,

Stravinsky, Sviatoslav, 271


Strecker, Willy, 249, 259-

Trois Pieces Faciles

(S)

88,

100

124

Tulder, Louis van, 219


Turin Radio Orchestra, 270

Sylphides, Les (Chopin) , 38


Symphonic des Psaumes

Unaufhorliche, Das (Hindemith) 266

260,261

Maja
Hermann, 198

Strozzi-Pecic,

Suter,

(S),

de,

253-257, 258, 259,

263, 270

Symphonies pour Instruments a Vent (S), 140-

Val^ry, Paul, 184


false (Ravel), 21 4
false Brillante (Chopin)

38

142, 148, 163, 172

Symphony,
33, 34

flat

(S)

32-

Verdi, Giuseppe, 205


Verlaine, Paul, 48, 271

287

INDEX
Victoria Ena,

Weber, Carl Maria von,


251-252
Wiener, Jean, 172, 178
Wilhelm II, Kaiser, 66-67
Woizikovsky, Leon, 176
Wood, Sir Henry, 220

of

Queen

Spain, 99, 147


Villard, Jean, 116

Volga Boat Song

(S)

104

Vsevolojsky, Ivan, 40-41

Wagner, Richard,
19,53,60
Wahrlich, H., 34

15,

15,

Zvezdoliki

("The King of

the Stars")

Walter, Bruno, 220-221

288

(S)

55, 141

A FEW PHOTOGRAPHS

AND PORTRAITS OF
IGOR STRAVINSKY

IGOR STRAVINSKY
by THEODORE STRAVINSKY

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fU

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C.-F.

RAMUZ
sketch by IGOB STRAVINSKY

IGOR STRAVINSKY and PICASSO


sketch by JEAN

tribute

COCIEAU

by PiCASSO apropos of Pulcinella

STRAVINSKY
by PICASSO

STRAVINSKY'S HANDS
photo by ERIK SCHAAL

112789