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.
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Publication information: Book title: Dialogues and a Diary. Contributors: Igor Stravinsky - Author, Robert Craft - Author. Publisher: Doubleday. Place of publication: Garden City, NY. Publication year: 1963. Page number: 70.
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