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Igor Stravinsky Biography

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Igor Stravinsky In-depth Biography

An important Russian composer of totally original and exciting music in many forms. Stravinsky}'s ballet The Rite of Spring} (1913), a work of exotic and primal character, marked a shift in modern Western music. In early pieces like Fireworks} (1908) and the marvelous King of the Stars} for chorus and orchestra (1911), Stravinsky} exhibits a love of orchestral color that seems like a combination of Debussy}, Scriabin} and Wagner}. The wood-flute song and plainchant intervals form one layer of his music. Other layers are the added harmonic dissonances, either in a rhythmic pattern (like the famous sacrificial dance in The Rite of Spring}) or in sparkling arpeggios of violin harmonics and woodwinds. Stravinsky} wedded the primitive, ancient, and neo-classical to the scale of the present. There seems to be a progression from Petrouchka} and The Firebird} for the Ballets-Russes}, to the neo-jazz Ebony Concerto}, to the purity of religious feeling shown in the Symphony of Psalms} and Agon}, which begins to use the 12-tone technique in a limited way -- but maybe it's more an unfolding of a personality that was there from the start. ~ Blue Gene Tyranny, All Music Guide

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