Igor Stravinsky was a Russian composer, pianist and conductor who later obtained French and American citizenship. He is considered one of the most influential composers of the 20th century and a key figure in the development of modernist music. His music has influenced many generations of musicians.
While Stravinsky’s Requiem is generally a work of sacred music, its Canticles are an exception. They were composed for a smaller space with limited reverberation time. The composers worked to accommodate the composition to the chapel at Duke University, and the result is a piece that resonates with a churchly acoustics.
Although Stravinsky died in the middle of his life, his music endures, and his Requiem Canticles are one of his last works. The compositions evoke his Russian heritage and are profoundly moving. While they may not have been written for the occasion, they stand as a testament to Stravinsky’s creative vitality.
The Requiem Canticles demonstrates Stravinsky’s virtuosity and mastery of musical composition. It consists of six vocal movements and three instrumental sections. It features a percussion-heavy orchestra, unusual vocal effects, and a complex narrative.
The music begins with an interlude reminiscent of a funeral procession. This movement has a drag step of timpani that is alternating with horns and flute passage work. This passage work, which is mostly self-controlled, complements the funeral music.
After the Canticles, the main poem of the Requiem, the Sequence, is a long poem that deals with the terrible day of judgment. It also contains a prayer for mercy. Stravinsky interposes an Interlude between the first two verses of the Sequence. The Sequence resembles Stravinsky’s early cantata, Zvezdoliki (1911), which is set to a devotional text by Konstantin Balmont. It is a kind of Russian Dies Irae.
Igor Stravinsky’s Symphony in C is a work for orchestra composed in the neoclassical style. It is a work that reflects Stravinsky’s own life. After a long battle with tuberculosis, Stravinsky emigrated to the United States. The piece is a reflection of his personal struggles and his recovery from illness.
Although it is not a perfect piece, this Symphony is a pleasure to listen to. It is not among the best works by the composer, but it is enjoyable enough. The scherzo and finale are especially impressive. The orchestra also makes good use of woodwinds, which are often the focus of symphonic pieces. Although it is not an ideal choice for a first concert, it is a great choice for anyone interested in hearing a Stravinsky work.
Stravinsky was a well-read and cultured intellectual who was well-connected with other musicians and artists. He met Vera de Bosset while he was on business in France and insisted that his family meet her and accept her. While his wife agreed to this, she was not happy with the idea of giving up their lives for a woman who wanted to become a musician.
Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements is a dazzling celebration of rhythm and melody. It is a departure from his earlier work, The Rite of Spring, and enters the crisp world of neoclassicism. It features irrepressible ostinatos, a tumbling rhythmic current, and a spirited conversation between the instrumental voices. The outer movements are particularly energetic, with hyper-unrelenting energy and rhythmic dynamism.