Conversations with Igor Stravinsky

By Igor Stravinsky; Robert Craft | Go to book overview

3: About My Life and Times and Other Arts

R.C.I once heard you describe your childhood glimpses of the Tsar Alexander III.

I.S.I saw the Tsar many times while walking with my brothers and governess along the quays of Saint Petersburg's Moyka river or by the adjacent canals. The Tsar was a very large man. He occupied the entire seat of a droshky driven by a troika coachman as big and obese as himself. The coachman wore a dark blue uniform the chest of which was covered with medals. He was seated in front of the Tsar but elevated on the driver's seat, where his enormous behind, like a gigantic pumpkin, was only a few inches from the Tsar's face. The Tsar had to answer greetings from people in the street by raising his right hand towards his temple. As he was recognized by everybody, he was obliged to do this almost without interruption. His appearances gave me great pleasure, and I eagerly anticipated them. We removed our hats and received the Tsar's acknowledging gesture feeling very important indeed.

I also saw the same Tsar in an unforgettable pageant, a parade that passed our street on its way to the

-92-

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Conversations with Igor Stravinsky
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • 1: About Composing And Compositions 11
  • 2: About Musicians and Others 37
  • 3: About My Life and Times And Other Arts 92
  • 4: About Music Today 119
  • Index 156
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