Conversations with Igor Stravinsky

Conversations with Igor Stravinsky

Conversations with Igor Stravinsky

Conversations with Igor Stravinsky

Excerpt

R.C. When did you become aware of your vocation as a composer?

I.S. I do not remember when and how I first thought of myself as a composer. All I remember is that these thoughts started very early in my childhood, long before any serious musical study.

R.C. The musical idea: when do you recognize it as an idea?

I.S. When something in my nature is satisfied by some aspect of an auditive shape. But long before ideas are born I begin work by relating intervals rhythmically. This exploration of possibilities is always conducted at the piano. Only after I have established my melodic or harmonic relationships do I pass to composition. Composition is a later expansion and organization of material.

R.C. Is it always clear in your mind from the inception of the idea what form of composition will develop? And the idea itself: is it clear what instrumental sound will produce it?

I.S. You should not suppose that once the musical idea . . .

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