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