Stravinsky Retrospectives

By Ethan Haimo; Paul Johnson | Go to book overview

Stravinsky's "REJOICING DISCOVERY" AND WHAT IT MEANT: IN DEFENSE OF HIS NOTORIOUS TEXT SETTING

RICHARD TARUSKIN | Columbia Univenity


§I

True vocal music is written to a pre-existing text, to a work of artistry, of poetry, capable of inspiring a musician. It is moreover essential that the music faithfully transmit the general mood of the poetical work and that it serve as its beautiful and well-fitting attire. It is essential that in quantity the music correspond to the dimensions of the poem, so that the music does not dangle on it like a gown on a hook, so that the text need not be artificially prolonged by repeating stanzas, verses, or individual words, and so that by such repetitions the artistic and elegant form of the poem be not distorted. It is essential that, in singing, the pronunciation of every word be suitably rendered, and that the phrasing of the text and the observance of its punctuation be correct. Besides that, the rhythm of the music and its meter must be in direct correspondence with the meter of the verse, the length of the musical phrase with the length of the text phrase, and, in fine, that the music in every way blend with the word so as to form with it one indissoluble, organic whole.1

So wrote César Cui, then Russia's doyen of musical criticism, when Igor Stravinsky was seven years old. Like all such dogmatic pronouncements of Cui's, these are framed as rules dictated by sheer Ciceronian common sense, and yet the author attaches an explicitly programmatic significance to them when he notes that "remarkably, before the present time a majority of composers and of the public did not realize the importance of all of the foregoing and willingly deprived themselves of this powerful force of expression and impression." It was a specifically Russian and a specifically realist aesthetic he was summing up, one that had found its prime exponent in Mussorgsky, and that was exemplified par excellence in a style of vocal

César Cui, "Neskol'ko slov O sovremennykh opernykh formakh" ( 1889), in Cui, Izbrannye swei, ed. I. L. Gusin (Leningrad, 1952), PP. 406-8. Translations from Russian are mine.

-162-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Stravinsky Retrospectives
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 203

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.