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In this second volume of Igor Stravinsky’s correspondence – selected and annotated by his friend and associate Robert Craft – we are given a wealth of material relating to the composer’s association with dance, to his relationship with other composers and musicians, and to the daily, financial, and familial concerns of his life.
Of particular value is his correspondence with Serge Diaghilev, with Vaslav Nijinsky, with Léon Bakst, and with Émile Jaques-Dalcroze. There is a history in letters of Firebird, Stravinsky’s most popular ballet score, and of Jeu de Cartes, his first Balanchine commission. Also included are letters to and from Pierre Monteux – a correspondence that began in 1912 (the year before the scandalous première of Le Sacre du Printemps, with Monteux conducting) and lasted for forty-five years. A vivid picture of musical life in the émigré community in Hollywood during the 1950s and 1960s emerges from the correspondence with Ernst Krenek, while Stravinsky’s letters to Nicolas Nabokov are an invaluable record of musical activities during the last thirty years of his life, including the premiere of his opera The Rake’s Progress.
Together with the accompanying two volumes, this book affords an extraordinary insight into the life and work of a complex, brilliant artist.
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