An Introduction to Twentieth Century Music

By Peter S. Hansen | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX
STRAVINSKY

For I consider that music is, by its very nature, essentially powerless to express anything at all, whether a feeling, an attitude of mind, a psychological mood, a phenomenon of nature, etc. . . . Expression has never been an inherent property of music. That is by no means the purpose of its existence. If, as is nearly always the case, music appears to express something, this is only an illusion and not a reality. It is simply an additional attribute which, by tacit and inveterate agreement, we have lent it, thrust upon it, as a label, a convention--in short, an aspect which unconsciously or by force of habit, we have come to confuse with its essential being. IGOR STRAVINSKY

At the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Stravinsky moved to neutral Switzerland, where he lived for the next five years. The war made great changes in his life, heretofore singularly free from two problems that often plague young composers--lack of money and lack of recognition. Now, the revolution in Russia cut off his income and the disbanding of the ballet meant that his music was no longer performed. He lived quietly, recovered from a serious illness, and worked on compositions that had little in common with the prewar ballets that had brought him such quick fame.

After the armistice, he returned to France and lived

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An Introduction to Twentieth Century Music
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Epigraph iii
  • Title Page iv
  • List of Illustrations vi
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • Part One - 1900-1914 1
  • Chapter I - Nineteenth Century Background 3
  • Suggested Readings 9
  • Chapter II - Paris 11
  • Chapter III - Paris: Other Composers 33
  • Suggested Readings 52
  • Chapter IV - Germany and Austria 53
  • Suggested Readings 74
  • Chapter V - Music in America 75
  • Chapter VI - Experiments in Music 87
  • Part Two - 1914-1945 105
  • Chapter VII - Paris After World War I 107
  • Chapter VIII - Les Trois 125
  • Chapter IX - Stravinsky 151
  • Chapter X - Schoenberg 175
  • Chapter XI - Berg and Webern 197
  • Suggested Readings 218
  • Chapter XII - Bartók 223
  • Suggested Reading 238
  • Chapter XIII - Hindemith 249
  • Suggested Reading 265
  • Chapter XIV - Soviet Russia 267
  • Suggested Reading 287
  • Chapter XV - England 289
  • Suggested Reading 303
  • Chapter XVI - Music in America 305
  • Suggested Reading 337
  • Part III - 1945-1960 343
  • Chapter XVII - New Directions 345
  • Suggested Reading 357
  • References 359
  • Composers 365
  • Index 367
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