Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)

Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
200901Looking West2009062220110314

Donald Macleod looks at the years prior to Stravinsky's leaving Europe for America.

From 1939 until his death in New York in 1971 Stravinsky made America his home. This week Donald Macleod explores this final chapter of the composer's life, looking at the impact his American experiences had on Stravinsky and his works. In the first programme, 'Looking West', Donald looks at Stravinsky's final years in Europe, when he was already composing works for American patrons, and leading a complicated private life, with his family ensconced in a grand chateau in South-Eastern France, and his mistress Vera in a Paris apartment. The tragic loss of his daughter, wife Katya and mother Anna within a few months in 1938 led him to feel that he no longer had ties to Paris, and he set sail for America in the autumn of 1939.

"

Donald Macleod explores the final chapter of Stravinsky's life, considering the impact his experience of America had on the man and his music.

Donald looks at the years building up to Stravinsky's leaving Europe for America, when he was already writing works for American patrons.

Praeludium"

200902Wartime In Hollywood2009062320110315

Donald Macleod explores Stravinsky's early years in America.

Donald Macleod looks at Stravinsky's early years in America, when, as a refugee in Los Angeles, he found himself rubbing shoulders with Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo, but having to face up to commercial pressures to earn a living.

"

Donald Macleod explores the final chapter of Stravinsky's life, looking at the impact his experience of America had on the man and his music.

He looks at Stravinsky's early years in America, when, as a refugee in Los Angeles, the composer found himself rubbing shoulders with Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo, but also having to face up to commercial pressures to earn a living.

The Star Spangled Banner

London Symphony Orchestra

Michael Tilson Thomas (conductor)

RCA 09026 68865 CD 1, Tr 1

Tango for piano

Peter Hill (piano)

NAXOS 8.55387 CD 1, Tr 13

Circus Polka (for a young elephant)"

200903Craft2009062420110316

Donald Macleod traces Stravinsky's relationship with conductor Robert Craft.

When the young conductor Robert Craft entered Stravinsky's life the composer found an advisor on English literature and developments in new music, and a devotee who assisted him for the remainder of his life. With Donald Macleod.

"

Donald Macleod explores the final chapter of Stravinsky's life, looking at the impact his experience of America had on the man and his music.

He traces Stravinsky's relationship with young conductor Robert Craft, in whom the composer found an advisor on English literature and developments in new music, and a devotee who assisted him for the remainder of his life.

Canon (on a Russian Popular Tune)

London Symphony Orchestra

Michael Tilson Thomas (conductor)

RCA 0902668865

CD2, Tr 9

Ebony Concerto

Woody Herman and his Orchestra

Philips 422 303-2, Trs 1-3

Orpheus"

200904A New Method2009062520110317

Donald Macleod examines Stravinsky's attempts to keep up with the musical avant-garde.

Donald Macleod examines Stravinsky's attempts to keep up with the avant-garde and embrace serialism, despite being seen as 'the grand old man' of classical music.

"

Donald Macleod explores the final chapter of Stravinsky's life, looking at the impact his experience of America had on the man and his music.

He examines Stravinsky's attempts to keep up with the avant-garde and embrace serialism, despite being seen as 'the grand old man' of classical music.

Ricercar II: Tomorrow Shall Be (Cantata)

Thomas Bogdan (tenor)

Fred Sherry (cello)

Stephen Taylor (oboe)

Melanie Field (cor anglais)

Michael Parloff, Bart Feller (flutes)

Robert Craft (conductor)

Naxos 8557504, Tr 12

Passacaglia (Septet)

European soloists ensemble

Vladimir Ashkenazy (piano/director)

Decca 448 177-2, Tr 16

In memoriam Dylan Thomas"

200905 LASTReturn To Europe2009062620110318

Donald Macleod describes Stravinsky's emotional return to his Russian homeland.

Donald Macleod looks at Stravinsky's emotional return to his homeland, Russia, during the period of incessant travel that would define his final years.

"

Donald Macleod explores the final chapter of Stravinsky's life, looking at the impact his experience of America had on the man and his music.

He describes the composer's emotional return to his Russian homeland during the period of incessant travel that would define his final years.

Elegy for JFK"

201901In The Orbit Of Rimsky-korsakov20190506

Donald Macleod explores the life and work of the composer who is said, in his music, to have ushered in the 20th century: Igor Stravinsky. His name is probably still most associated with the utterly extraordinary, revolutionary evening that prompted that accolade – the premiere of The Rite of Spring in Paris on the 29th of May 1913.

Today Donald will be focusing on Stravinsky’s early relationship with a pivotal figure in Russian classical music, Rimsky-Korsakov.

Rite of Spring (Introduction)
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Simon Rattle, conductor

Scherzo in G minor
Oxana Shevchenko, piano

Pastorale
Phyllis Bryn-Julson, soprano
Ensemble Intercontemporain,
Pierre Boulez, conductor

Four Etudes, Op 7, Nos 3 and 4
Oxana Shevchenko, piano

Symphony in E flat major (1st and 2nd movements)
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Neeme Järvi, conductor

Faun and Shepherdess
Lucy Shelton, soprano
Cleveland Orchestra
Oliver Knussen, conductor

Scherzo Fantastique
St Petersberg Philharmonic
Vladimir Ashkenazy, conductor

Produced in Cardiff by Martin Williams

Donald Macleod surveys the life and music of Russian-born composer Igor Stravinsky.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

201902With Diaghilev In Paris20190507

Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Igor Stravinsky.

Stravinsky's Fireworks was written for the approval of his mentor, Rimsky-Korsakov. It also marked the beginning of his relationship with another important collaborator.

The impresario Sergei Diaghilev had founded a magazine and had promoted, in Paris, an exhibition of Russian painting which had been a big success. Then there had been a sensational season of Russian opera which introduced the great Russian bass Fyodor Chaliapin to Paris. Now Diaghilev wanted to introduce Parisian audiences to the glories of Russian ballet. And he looked to Stravinsky to help him.

Fireworks
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Pierre Boulez, conductor

The Firebird Suite
New York Philharmonic
Leonard Bernstein, conductor

Three Movements from Petrushka
Katia Labeque, piano
Marielle Labeque, piano

The Rite of Spring (excerpts)
Kirov Orchestra
Valery Gergiev, conductor

The Rite of Spring (Sacrificial Dance)
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Neeme Järvi, conductor

Produced in Cardiff by Martin Williams

Donald Macleod explores Stravinsky's relationship with the impresario Sergei Diaghilev.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Igor Stravinsky.

Stravinsky's Fireworks was written for the approval of his mentor, Rimsky-Korsakov. It also marked the beginning of his relationship with another important collaborator.

The impresario Sergei Diaghilev had founded a magazine and had promoted, in Paris, an exhibition of Russian painting which had been a big success. Then there had been a sensational season of Russian opera which introduced the great Russian bass Fyodor Chaliapin to Paris. Now Diaghilev wanted to introduce Parisian audiences to the glories of Russian ballet. And he looked to Stravinsky to help him.

Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Igor Stravinsky.

Stravinsky's Fireworks was written for the approval of his mentor, Rimsky-Korsakov. It also marked the beginning of his relationship with another important collaborator.

The impresario Sergei Diaghilev had founded a magazine and had promoted, in Paris, an exhibition of Russian painting which had been a big success. Then there had been a sensational season of Russian opera which introduced the great Russian bass Fyodor Chaliapin to Paris. Now Diaghilev wanted to introduce Parisian audiences to the glories of Russian ballet. And he looked to Stravinsky to help him.

Fireworks
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Pierre Boulez, conductor

The Firebird Suite
New York Philharmonic
Leonard Bernstein, conductor

Three Movements from Petrushka
Katia Labeque, piano
Marielle Labeque, piano

The Rite of Spring (excerpts)
Kirov Orchestra
Valery Gergiev, conductor

The Rite of Spring (Sacrificial Dance)
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Neeme Järvi, conductor

Produced in Cardiff by Martin Williams

Donald Macleod explores Stravinsky's relationship with the impresario Sergei Diaghilev.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

201903Back To Bach20190508

Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Igor Stravinsky, today exploring the period of Stravinsky's evolution as a composer in which he seemed to look backwards to more classical forms. He was also beginning a life as a more deliberate performer: his 'expressionless' music becoming a vehicle in which he could express himself.

Pulcinella (Overture)
London Sinfonietta
Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor

Mavra: Russian Song (arr for cello & piano)
Christian-Pierre La Marca, cello
Lise de la salle, piano

Octet (2nd movement)
Eastman Wind Ensemble
Mark Scatterday, director

Symphony of Psalms
Monteverdi Choir
London Symphony Orchestra
John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

Concerto in E flat major 'Dumbarton Oaks'
NDR Symphony Orchestra
Gunter Wand, conductor

Produced in Cardiff by Martin Williams

Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Igor Stravinsky.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Igor Stravinsky, today exploring the period of Stravinsky's evolution as a composer in which he seemed to look backwards to more classical forms. He was also beginning a life as a more deliberate performer: his 'expressionless' music becoming a vehicle in which he could express himself.

Pulcinella (Overture)
London Sinfonietta
Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor

Mavra: Russian Song (arr for cello & piano)
Christian-Pierre La Marca, cello
Lise de la salle, piano

Octet (2nd movement)
Eastman Wind Ensemble
Mark Scatterday, director

Symphony of Psalms
Monteverdi Choir
London Symphony Orchestra
John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

Concerto in E flat major 'Dumbarton Oaks'
NDR Symphony Orchestra
Gunter Wand, conductor

Produced in Cardiff by Martin Williams

Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Igor Stravinsky.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

201904Exile In La20190509

Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Igor Stravinsky, today focusing on the composer's first years in the United States.

1939 was clearly a pivotal year in world history. Igor Stravinsky wrote to a friend: 'My house, my family is destroyed - I no longer have anything to do in Paris.' He was seemingly, understandably, distraught at his wife Katya’s death, despite his far from loving treatment of her during her lifetime. This was something his children would resent for ever.

Now, Stravinsky was further removed from his native Russia and alienated in his adoptive country of France. Although in deep mourning, he chose to accept an offer of a professorship at Harvard University for a year and set sail for the USA, alone, at the outbreak of war, at the end of September 1939.

Tango
Oxana Shevchenko, piano

Ebony Concerto (1st and 2nd movements)
Woody Herman and his Orchestra

Scherzo a la Russe
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Simon Rattle, conductor

Symphony in Three Movements
London Symphony Orchestra
Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor

Rake's Progress: Act I Scene 3 (excerpt)
Monteverdi Choir
London Symphony Orchestra
John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

Mass (Kyrie, Gloria)
Netherlands Chamber Choir
Schoenberg Ensemble
Reinbert De Leeuw, conductor

Produced in Cardiff by Martin Williams

Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Igor Stravinsky.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Igor Stravinsky, today focusing on the composer's first years in the United States.

1939 was clearly a pivotal year in world history. Igor Stravinsky wrote to a friend: 'My house, my family is destroyed - I no longer have anything to do in Paris.' He was seemingly, understandably, distraught at his wife Katya’s death, despite his far from loving treatment of her during her lifetime. This was something his children would resent for ever.

Now, Stravinsky was further removed from his native Russia and alienated in his adoptive country of France. Although in deep mourning, he chose to accept an offer of a professorship at Harvard University for a year and set sail for the USA, alone, at the outbreak of war, at the end of September 1939.

Tango
Oxana Shevchenko, piano

Ebony Concerto (1st and 2nd movements)
Woody Herman and his Orchestra

Scherzo a la Russe
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Simon Rattle, conductor

Symphony in Three Movements
London Symphony Orchestra
Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor

Rake's Progress: Act I Scene 3 (excerpt)
Monteverdi Choir
London Symphony Orchestra
John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

Mass (Kyrie, Gloria)
Netherlands Chamber Choir
Schoenberg Ensemble
Reinbert De Leeuw, conductor

Produced in Cardiff by Martin Williams

Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Igor Stravinsky.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

201905 LASTLate Austerity20190510

Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Igor Stravinsky, today focusing on Stravinsky's late move towards serialist methods of composition.

It’s not clear whether Stravinsky’s move in this direction was directly attributable to the influence of his musical assistant Robert Craft, but the younger man regularly conducted concerts which included works by Schoenberg, and Stravinsky seems to have set about a re-appraisal of his own technique.

In his record of conversations he had with Stravinsky over the years, Robert Craft recalls an occasion when he challenged the composer to 'draw' his recent music. Craft led the way by illustrating plainchant with a single straight line, polyphony with four parallel lines, Bach with a grid, Wagner with what looks like a diagram of an interior-sprung mattress, Webern with a spiral, and the New Serialists with what looks like a sketch for a painting by Piet Mondrian - overlapping quadrangles. What Stravinsky came up with to depict his own music of the time - the late 1950s - looks like a simplified version of Harry Beck’s brilliant schematic map of the London Underground system, with a series of points connected by straight lines. 'This', the composer said, 'is my music.'

In Memoriam Dylan Thomas
Ensemble Intercontemporain
Pierre Boulez, conductor

Movements for Piano and Orchestra
Oli Mustonen, piano
Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
Vladimir Ashkenazy, conductor

Agon: Act IV
London Symphony Orchestra
Orchestra of St Luke's
Robert Craft, conductor

The dove descending breaks the air
Collegium Vocale Gent
Philippe Herreweghe, conductor

Canticum Sacrum
SWR Baden-Baden and Freiburg Symphony Orchestra
SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart
Michael Gielen, conductor

Produced in Cardiff by Martin Williams

Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Igor Stravinsky.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.