Dialogues and a Diary

By Igor Stravinsky; Robert Craft | Go to book overview

PROGRAM NOTES

OCTUOR

R.C.: Would you describe the circumstances attending the composition of the Octuor?

I.S.: The Octuor began with a dream in which I saw myself in a small room surrounded by a small group of instrumentalists playing some very attractive music. I did not recognize the music, though I strained to hear it, and I could not recall any feature of it the next day, but I do remember my curiosity --in the dream--to know how many the musicians were.134 I remember too that after I had counted them to the number eight, I looked again and saw that they were playing bassoons, trombones, trumpets, a flute, and a clarinet. I awoke from this little concert in a state of great delight and anticipation and the next morning began to compose the Octuor, which I had had no thought of the day before, though for some time I had wanted to write an ensemble piece--not incidental music like the Histoire du soldat, but an instrumental sonata.

____________________
134
This confession exposes me to Minkowski's analysis of the counting mania as a time frustration, i.e., of the compulsion to count as a wish to force future time, while the succubi at one's back push one into a false imagination. But time-dreams and counting-dreams are common with me, and so are dreams in which people shout, but inaudibly, like a cinema when the sound track fails, or talk out of hearing in the distance. I dream regularly now, too, that I am able to walk without a cane, as I could five years ago.

-70-

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Dialogues and a Diary
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Illustrations viii
  • Part 1 - Dialogues 1
  • A Greek Trilogy 3
  • Some People 37
  • Program Notes 70
  • Working Notes for the Flood 89
  • Appendix A 99
  • Appendix B 102
  • Part 2 - A Diary 105
  • 1958 111
  • 1959 116
  • 1960 140
  • 1962 195
  • Index 270
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