Monday, April 11, 2016

I is for Igor Stravinsky

 
              I am participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, and my theme this year is classical music. Check out the list of other participants by clicking here! I is for Igor Stravinsky. Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky was a Russian composer who lived from 1882 to 1971. Today's featured video is an excerpt from his ballet, The Firebird, conducted by Igor Stravinsky himself! The only thing I didn't like with this video was that it cut off the end of the piece, but it is still worth watching as he conducts with such precision.
 


  

   ·   Although born in Russia, Igor Stravinsky was later naturalized as a French and a United States citizen.
 
   ·   He had taken piano lessons as a boy and showed an interest in music, but his parents wanted him to attend law school. So, he enrolled in the University of Saint Petersburg, but attended fewer than 50 class sessions in the course of his study.
 
   ·   In the summer after his first year at St. Petersburg, he stayed with the composer, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, who saw Stravinsky’s talent and began to give him private lessons.
 
   ·   After World War I, Igor Stravinsky, his wife and children decided to leave the Soviet Union and find a new home in Paris. When she heard about this the couturière Coco Chanel invited his family to stay in her mansion. She also made a donation of 300,000 francs to the production company, Ballets Russes, which was producing Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. There was a book and a French-language film fictionally based on a supposed affair between Igor and Coco.
 
Sketch by Pablo Picasso
Bibliothèque nationale de France
   ·   Pablo Picasso collaborated with Stravinsky on his ballet, Pulcinella, and during that time Picasso made a number of sketches of him.
 
   ·   According to classicfm.com, “He discovered a way of rethinking the creative ideals of the 17th and 18th centuries in a thoroughly contemporary idiom and, in doing so, hit upon one of the most vital and far-reaching movements of the last 100 years: Neo-Classicism.”


Sources: http://www.classicfm.com/composers/stravinsky/

 
            Saturday’s true or false: After his death, Haydn's head was stolen from his grave. Answer: True! In the interest of phrenology, two men stole Joseph Haydn’s head to examine it. Read the full story here.
            For this challenge, I’m keeping a playlist of the videos I’m using plus some extras for anyone who wants to hear more. I will update with the latest letter each day. Today’s extra video is the Russian Dance from Igor Stravinsky’s Petrushka performed by Anna Yanovskaya on the violin and Alexandra Stefanova on the piano.


 
Does anyone know what happened during the premiere of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring in 1913?

22 comments:

  1. That was interesting about the head being stolen (so I'm assuming they had to cut it off, just too weird!)

    betty

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    1. Betty, they bribed the gravedigger, so they could dig up his corpse and cut off his head! People do strange things in the name of science.

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  2. I'd never heard about the connection between Coco Channel and Stravinsky. Scandalous!

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  3. I didn't know about the connection between him and Picasso.

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    1. Alex, yeah, I thought that was interesting.

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  4. How gross to steal a head from a grave! Didn't know the connections at all, but I am not au fait with Western music or for that matter celebrity lifestyles. Enjoyed the music clip.

    Here from the A-Z and wish you all the best with the challenge

    Nilanjana.
    Ninja Minion, A-Z 2016
    Madly-in-Verse

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    1. Nilanjana, I'm glad you enjoyed the music and thanks for stopping by :)

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  5. you are doing a great job with this challenge

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    1. Thank you, Denise! It has been fun so far :)

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  6. stopping by for A to Z. Interesting theme. I'm woefully behind on the world of classical music. I recognize names but don't know the music or history.Your posts are excellent

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    1. Thank you, Joanne! I've learned a lot from doing this theme :)

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  7. How strange to steal a dead person's head!

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  8. Whoa...his head was stolen? I assume they dug up his coffin and cut it off and ick!

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    1. Stephanie, ick is right, because they dug it up 4 days later!

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  9. Who steals someone's head?! Love this post, can't wait to see the rest of your series.

    Happy A2Z!

    Erica
    www.ericageraldmason.com

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  10. I never took to Stravinsky although I know he is considered one of the greats. I have no idea what happened at that premiere

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    1. Birgit, his music is definitely different.

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  11. I like the connection with other arts from music to dance to Picasso

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    1. Mike, he certainly had an interesting life.

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