Igor Stravinsky (1882 - 1971)

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

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Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
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COTW0101St Petersburg *20060731

Although he lived in America for almost thirty years Igor Stravinsky referred to the loss of his homeland Russia and its language as the greatest crisis in his life as a composer.

Donald Macleod examines the impact of his exile from Russia and the music his birthland inspired.

Scherzo a la russe

Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra/David Atherton

Petrushka: 1st tableau

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Sir Simon Rattle (conductor)

Three Songs, Recollections of my Childhood

Phyllis Bryn Julson (soprano)

Ensemble InterContemporain

Pierre Boulez (conductor)

Sonata in F sharp minor, 2nd movement

Martin Jones (piano)

The Firebird, suite

Boston Symphony Orchestra

Erich Leinsdorf (conductor).

COTW0102The Ballets Russes *20060801

Donald Macleod charts how Stravinsky's name was established outside Russia through his collaboration with the Russian ballet impresario Serge Diaghilev.

Two Poems of Paul Verlaine

John Shirley Quirk (baritone)

Ensemble InterContemporain

Pierre Boulez (conductor)

Excerpt from Act 1, Oedipus Rex

Thomas Moser (tenor)

Siegmund Nimsgern (baritone)

Male Chorus of Bavarian Radio

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra

Sir Colin Davis (conductor)

The Rite of Spring, excerpt from Part 1

Orchestre de la Sociétè du Conservatoire de Paris

Pierre Monteux (conductor)

Les Noces: 1st tableau, La tresse

Basia Retchitzka (soprano)

Lucienne Devallier (contralto)

Hugues Cuénod (tenor)

Heinz Rehfuss (bass)

The Motet Choir of Geneva

Vladimir Diakoff (bass)

Renée Peter, Doris Rossiaud and Roger Aubert (piano)

Jacques Horneffer (director and piano)

Symphonies of wind instruments

Detroit Chamber Winds and Friends.

COTW0103Switzerland *20060802

After the events in the October Revolution, Igor Stravinsky led a nomadic existence moving from place to place in Europe.

In 1915 he decided to settle in Morges, a small town on the shores of Lake Geneva and establish a more permanent base for his family.

In addition to the Ballets Russes, Stravinsky forged a new circle of friends in Switzerland with whom he could collaborate.

Parasha's Song (Mavra)

Phyllis Bryn-Julson (soprano)

Ensemble InterContemporain

Pierre Boulez (conductor)

Symphony of Psalms

The Simon Joly Chorale

Philharmonia

Robert Craft (conductor)

Ragtime: Members of London Sinfonietta

Esa-Pekka Salonen (conductor)

Capriccio for piano and orchestra

Nikita Magaloff (piano)

Suisse Romande Orchestra

Ernest Ansermet (conductor).

COTW0104Return To France20060803

In 1934 Igor Stravinsky took up French citizenship.

It was not a successful move on either a personal or professional level.

Donald Macleod explores the reasons why Stravinsky's move back to France proved to be so unsatisfactory.

Circus Polka

London Symphony Orchestra

Michael Tilson Thomas (conductor)

Dumbarton Oaks

Nash Ensemble

Elgar Howarth (conductor)

Violin Concerto

Chantal Juillet (violin)

Montreal Symphony Orchestra

Charles Dutoit (conductor)

Three sacred cantatas of Gesualdo

New London Chamber Choir

James Wood (conductor)

COTW0105 LASTAmerica *20060804

Disenchanted with life in Europe, in 1939 Igor Stravinsky moved to America where he remained until his death in 1971.

Donald Macleod details the final chapters of Stravinsky's life.

Requiem Canticles

Susan Bickley (contralto)

David Wilson-Johnson (bass-baritone)

Stephen Richardson (bass)

New London Chamber Choir

Oliver Knussen (conductor)

Symphony in Three Movements

Suisse Romande Orchestra

Ernest Ansermet (conductor)

The Rake's Progress

Regina Sarfaty (mezzo soprano)

Alexander Young (tenor)

John Reardon (baritone)

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Igor Stravinsky (conductor).

Igor Stravinsky (1882 - 1971)

5/5.

America

COTW0201Looking 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 looks at the years building up to Stravinsky's leaving Europe for America, when he was already writing works for American patrons.

Praeludium

COTW0202Wartime 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.

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)

COTW0203Craft2009062420110316

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.

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

COTW0204A 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.

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

COTW0205 LASTReturn To Europe *20090626

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