Igor Stravinsky

Born 17 June 1882. Died 6 April 1971.

Igor Stravinsky

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Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring

In this Proms Music Guide, Tom Service talks about Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring.

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Biography

Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky (sometimes spelled Strawinsky or Stravinskii; Russian: Игорь Фёдорович Стравинский, transliterated: Igorʹ Fëdorovič Stravinskij;; 17 June  1882 – 6 April 1971) was a Russian (and later, a naturalized French and American) composer, pianist and conductor. He is widely considered one of the most important and influential composers of the 20th century.

Stravinsky's compositional career was notable for its stylistic diversity. He first achieved international fame with three ballets commissioned by the impresario Sergei Diaghilev and first performed in Paris by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes: The Firebird (1910), Petrushka (1911) and The Rite of Spring (1913). The last of these transformed the way in which subsequent composers thought about rhythmic structure and was largely responsible for Stravinsky's enduring reputation as a musical revolutionary who pushed the boundaries of musical design. His "Russian phase" was followed in the 1920s by a period in which he turned to neoclassical music. The works from this period tended to make use of traditional musical forms (concerto grosso, fugue and symphony). They often paid tribute to the music of earlier masters, such as J.S. Bach and Tchaikovsky. In the 1950s, Stravinsky adopted serial procedures. His compositions of this period shared traits with examples of his earlier output: rhythmic energy, the construction of extended melodic ideas out of a few two- or three-note cells and clarity of form, of instrumentation and of utterance.[clarification needed]

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BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Complete Music for Violin & Piano (feat violin: Anthony Marwood, piano: Thomas Adès)

    Complete Music for Violin & Piano (feat violin: Anthony Marwood, piano: Thomas Adès) 2010

    Reviewed by Andrew McGregor
    Two CDs for the price of one: an excellent souvenir of a canny composer.
  2. Review of The Rite of Spring

    The Rite of Spring 2001

    Reviewed by Andrew McGregor
    ...anyone who thinks The Rite has lost its power through over-familiarity should buy it...
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