Great Masters: Stravinsky His Life and Music
When it comes to creative longevity, brilliance across a range of styles, and near-universal fame, Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971) is nearly unrivaled among 20th-century artists.
As told by Professor Robert Greenberg, Stravinsky’s career is a dizzying, enthralling progression across the miles and the decades from fin de siècle Czarist Russia to Southern California in the 1960s.
It features styles ranging from nationalism and Impressionism to Fauvism, neoclassicism, and the 12-tone ultra-serialism of Anton Webern and Alban Berg.
Professor Greenberg presents this long-lived master of musical creativity as a one-man compendium of people, places, compositional styles, and techniques, his life and music a virtual artistic history of the West from the 1890s to the late 1960s.
By Professor Robert Greenberg
2002 | 6 hours and 7 mins | ISBN: 1565853792 | MP3 64 kbps | 160 MB
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Even a partial list of Stravinsky’s friends and collaborators reads like a “who’s who” of 20th-century Western culture: Picasso, Rimsky-Korsakov, Diaghilev, Nijinsky, Balanchine, Puccini, Satie, Debussy, Ravel, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Jean Cocteau, Dylan Thomas, Nicholas Nabokov, Paul Klee, Leonard Bernstein, Pierre Boulez, Christopher Isherwood, W. H. Auden, Aldous Huxley, T. S. Eliot, Walt Disney, Edward G. Robinson, Charlie Chaplin, Woody Herman, even Zsa Zsa Gabor.
Among other things, then, these lectures on Stravinsky will give you a sense of the kaleidoscopic changes in musical expression that took place during the first 70 years of the 20th century.
From Nationalism to Modernism and Beyond
Stravinsky began as a 19th-century musical nationalist. He was privileged to receive the benefits of an upper-middle-class Russian upbringing in St. Petersburg, where he was born in 1882.
In this city at the turn of the 20th century, the young and impressionable Stravinsky was exposed to an amazing, kaleidoscopic interweaving of Western and Eastern European cultures.
His was a musical family. His father, Fyodor, was a professional opera singer, considered one of the great bass-baritones of his day.
By his late teens, Stravinsky’s interest in music had developed into an ambition to become a composer, despite the fact that he had not, to that point of his life, demonstrated any exceptional musical talent.
Certainly, his potential was not recognized by the eminent Russian composer Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, when Stravinsky approached him for lessons in 1902.
Rimsky-Korsakov’s opinion changed dramatically, however, when he heard Stravinsky’s Piano Sonata in F-sharp Minor of 1904. The work gained Stravinsky a powerful ally and influential teacher in that great Russian master.
Between 1904 and 1909, Stravinsky developed his compositional technique and style, absorbing a diversity of musical influences.
During this period, Stravinsky married his cousin Katya, who would prove an invaluable support to her husband during these musically formative and professionally difficult years.
Works you’ll hear in the lectures are excerpted from:
The Firebird (1909)
The Rite of Spring (1912)
Ragtime for 11 Instruments (1918)
Les Noces [The Wedding] (1923)
Symphony of Psalms (1930)
Concerto in D for Violin (1931)
Dumbarton Oaks Concerto (1938)
Symphony in C (1940)
Symphony in Three Movements (1945)
The Ebony Concerto (1953)
Requiem Canticles (1966)
Course Lecture Titles
1. Introduction and There’s No Place Like Home
2. From Student to Professional
3. The Rite of Spring
4. The War Years (WWI)
7. A Citizen of the World
8. The New Stravinsky
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