Stravinsky and the Russian Period

Stravinsky and the Russian Period : Sound and Legacy of a Musical Idiom

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Van den Toorn and McGinness take a fresh look at the dynamics of Stravinsky's musical style from a variety of analytical, critical and aesthetic angles. Starting with processes of juxtaposition and stratification, the book offers an in-depth analysis of works such as The Rite of Spring, Les Noces and Renard. Characteristic features of style, melody and harmony are traced to rhythmic forces, including those of metrical displacement. Along with Stravinsky's formalist aesthetics, the strict performing style he favoured is also traced to rhythmic factors, thus reversing the direction of the traditional causal relationship. Here, aesthetic belief and performance practice are seen as flowing directly from the musical invention. The book provides a counter-argument to the criticism and aesthetics of T. W. Adorno and Richard Taruskin, and will appeal to composers, critics and performers as well as scholars of Stravinsky's music.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 32 b/w illus. 4 tables 145 music examples
  • 1139108107
  • 9781139108102

Review quote

'There is a wealth of forensic detail about familiar van den Toornian topics like the octatonic scale or referential collection.' Anthony Gritten, Slavonic and East European Review
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Table of contents

Introduction; 1. Meter and metrical displacement in Stravinsky; 2. The octatonic scale; 3. A brief survey; 4. Meter, motive, and alignment in Les Noces - Stravinsky's block and layered structures; 5. Melody and harmony in Les Noces; 6. Meter, text, and alignment in Renard (1916) - Stravinsky's 'rejoicing discovery'; 7. Allegro! Renard reconsidered; 8. Melodic repeat structures in the music of Stravinsky, Debussy, and Rimsky-Korsakov - another look at the symphonies of wind instruments (1920); 9. Issues of performance practice and aesthetic belief; 10. Stravinsky and his critics.
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