After the Rite: Stravinskys Path to Neoclassicism (1914-1925)

After the Rite: Stravinskys Path to Neoclassicism (1914-1925) by Maureen A. Carr

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The riot that erupted during the 1913 debut of Igor Stravinskys The Rite of Spring at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris has long been one of the most infamous and intriguing events of modern musical history. The third in a series of works commissioned for Sergei Diaghalevs famed Ballets Russes, the piece combined disjunct tonalities, provocative rhythms, and radical choreography that threw spectators and critics into a literal fury. In the century following its premiere, The Rite of Spring has demonstrated its earth-shattering impact on music and dance as well as its immortalizing effect on Stravinsky and his career. Having gained international attention by the age of 30, what direction could Stravinskys path forward take after the momentus events of 1913? After the Rite: Stravinskys Path to Neoclassicism (1914-1925) traces the evolution of Stravinskys compositional style as he searched for his own voice in the explosive musical world of the early 20th century as he responded to harsh criticisms of his work. Throughout the book, author Maureen Carr presents new transcriptions and sophisticated analyses of selected musical sketches to show the genesis of Stravinskys musical ideas as he forayed into surrealism, classicism, and abstraction to develop his signature Neoclassical style. Exploring these annotated compositional experiments--such as the earliest evidence of Stravinskys appropriation of the rag idiom and the development of his so-called sound blocks--After the Rite provides new insight into how Stravinsky challenged and guided the musical developments of the decade after that legendary Paris premiere. Enlightening visual metaphors, such as the contemporary paintings of Paul Klee and those of the Russian futurists, supplement discussion of the musical sketches throughout, offering a comprehensive artistic context for Carrs unprecedented and rigorous examination. A treasure trove of outstanding material for scholars, musicians, students, and general readers alike, After the Rite offers a much-needed delineation of the concept of musical neoclassicism. Maureen Carrs innovative and detailed examination of the metamorphosis of Igor Stravinskys compositional style after The Rite of Spring is an invaluable contribution to the literature concerning this iconic 20th century composer.
Publication Date:
10 / 06 / 2014

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