WVU Music 271 Podcast


April 18, 2007

Music 271: 4/18/07
I: Igor Stravinsky’s contributions to the formation of 20th-century art music:
A: Second Stage Nationalist (to the beginning of WWI)
1. The influence of Debussy on his ballet scores:
• Collaborated with other Russian artist for a series of ballets made for Paris
• Oiseau de feu (Firebird) - 1910
• Petrushka - 1911
• Le sacred u printemps (The Rite of Spring) - 1913
• “The Nightingale” opera displays many Debussy influences from Nuages
2. The Rite of Spring: and example of “Primitive Nationalism”:
• Influenced by Russian composers (including Rimsky-Korsakov, his mentor)
• Prompted a riot on its opening night
• Based on Stravinsky’s dream about pre-Christian Russian community (Neolithic times). Virgin sacrifice brings about springtime
• Represented a turning point for Stravinsky
• Marked the ending of Post-Romanticism
• 3 major political empires collapsed: Austro-Hungarian Empire, Ottoman Empire, Russian Empire (October Revolution)
• Stravinsky fled to Paris following the Russian Revolution
B: Neo-Classicism: a Post WWI reaction to Post-Romanticism:
• Defined as a return to absolute music coupled with a rejection of the attitude that music can be descriptive
• 1923 - Stravinsky’s Octet for Winds (his first Neo-Classical piece)
• Models were deliberately taken from 18th-century style
• Elimination or subordination of the strings from the music (Winds and Brass become the standard in Neo-Classicism)
• Open texture (Not a think texture, less parts then before)

II: American Neo-Classicism:
A: The influence of Nadia Boulanger:
• French pedagogue of composition
• Taught students how to find their own musical style
• Demanded that students have knowledge of Western Art Music
• Argued for Neo-Classicism in her teachings
B: Aaron Copland’s piano variations: 1930

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