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Stravinsky, the New York Philharmonic, and Program Music


  1. Robert Berger says:

    Interesting article, but Rimsky-Korsakov in fact wrote three symphonies, which are almos never performed, but which have been recorded by such well-known conductors as Yevgeny Svetlanov and Neeme Jarvi etc.
    The second,or “Antar” symphony, is programmatic and is in a similar exotic vein to Scheherezade. Gergiev did it with the New York Philharmonic several years ago.

  2. Patricia Contino says:

    Stravinsky is my favorite composer, yet I do not understand the reasoning behind this festival. Why does Stravnisky have to be “Russian?” Maybe I have been listening incorrectly all this time, but “Apollo,” “Orpheus,” “Dances Concertantes,” “Symphony of Psalms,” and “Symphony in Three Movements” never struck me as Russian-sounding. Must they be? I always thought they were beautiful and haunting – without any subtext.
    Is this festival a way of justifying Stravinsky’s staying in the west at the time his contemporaries Prokofiev and Shostakovich suffered so greatly and terribly in the Soviet Union? Will the Balanchine/Stravinsky collaboration come to be regarded as an accident of history?
    Putting nationalistic labels on music is a dangerous thing. Of course the conductor curating this festival doesn’t think that way, and rich patrons and administrators from the west look the other way as long as tickets sell and reviewers coo. Just think if the NYP had not alienated their one former music director who knows Stravinsky’s music so well…then this would be both a celebration of Stravinksy and Pierre Boulez’s 85th birthday.

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