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Thread: How some people can dislike Stravinsky's neoclassical period?

  1. #31
    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    I've read that some critics thought that Stravinsky stayed with neoclassicism for too long and that it had all become a little tired. As the culmination of his neoclassical period included the excellent The Rake's Progress I for one am glad he did.
    '...a violator of his word, a libertine over head and ears in debt and disgrace, a despiser of domestic ties, the companion of gamblers and demireps, a man who has just closed half a century without a single claim on the gratitude of his country or the respect of posterity...' - Leigh Hunt on the Prince Regent (later George IV).

    ὃν οἱ θεοὶ φιλοῦσιν ἀποθνῄσκει νέος [Those whom the gods love die young] - Menander

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  3. #32
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    "How some people can dislike Stravinsky's neoclassical period?"

    I did; only because I was so taken with Rite of Spring that immediately after hearing it, I couldn't wait to get to the record store (yes,it was a long time ago), and get more Stravinsky; so when I came home with Stravinsky's Violin Concerto, I was completely mystified and disappointed. Where were the pulsating rhythms; the jagged edges; the wild percussion; the savage, mysterious, and colorful shadings? What I didn't know was that all the Stravinsky colors were still there, but also the same wonderful sense of craftsmanship that characterizes Rite of Spring.The same goes for Stravinsky's late, late work when he jumped on Arnold Schoenberg's serial bandwagon...

    ...and if you REALLY want something to remind you of Rite of Spring, there's always Sensemaya by Silvestre Revueltas.

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  5. #33
    Senior Member Torkelburger's Avatar
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    But I think that is the genius of Stravinsky. If he wrote Le Sacre over and over again, he may have been forgotten as a one hit wonder. All of his pieces are different. Every ballet he wrote was completely unique. Every symphony. His late period works are completely different from each other.

    There are some neo-classical pieces he wrote that had pulsating rhythms, jagged edges, and savage, colorful shadings, etc. Like these:





    Starting at 1:00 here



    This piece is kind of a unique blend of several elements from previous ballets, creating something completely new. Has a couple wild moments, nothing as intense as Le Sacre, but wild nonetheless.


  6. #34
    Senior Member Ariasexta's Avatar
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    I had been refusing to even try Stvsky, but since a title is given, I tried on a video site.

    Summary: the Dumb-oaks is reminiscent of Mozartian tonal texture of the symphonies, guess it is why his music is called neoclassicism. The opening is a bit engaging but the piece does not always stay in high level of quality throughout, a few passages in the midway repulse me a bit for being melodramatic like bad movie scores but later it would drag me up and sit me tight untill the end through this 16 minutes. I am not accustomed to this kind of roller-coaster up and down experience in music, I simply do not like it. But overall, better than anticipated.
    Last edited by Ariasexta; Oct-30-2020 at 21:06.
    "In God I Hope, in Music I Trust."

    "I Do Not Want to Be The Master of My Life, But The Magician of My Life."

    Me.

  7. #35
    Senior Member Phil loves classical's Avatar
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    I disliked his Symphony in C until today, when I this thread reminded I should revisit. I always liked his other works from this period.
    "Forgive me, Majesty. I'm a vulgar man. But I assure you, my music is not.“ Mozart

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  9. #36
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    Stravinsky is a fascinating composer,and a true genius....he composed successfully in so many different styles....his works are a treasure trove of invention and creativity....from "Le Sacre", to the Octet for winds, to Symphony in C, to Agon, there is an endless cornucopia of great, enjoyable music....he reminds me of Picasso in the graphic arts - so skilled at so many different styles and modes of expression....these artists constantly challenge the listener/viewer to hear and see with new senses every time they are exposed to a new work.

  10. #37
    Senior Member SeptimalTritone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richannes Wrahms View Post
    I recall reading that Ravel was weirded out by Stravo's neoclassicism although he loved Les Noces which, incidentally, I fail to appreciate on many levels.
    I used to think that Les Noces was just "meh" until I heard it with the Pokrovsky ensemble here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bzqV6lv0a0

    In this performance, not only does the singing style capture that Russian folksy element, but more importantly the tempo ratios are correct. For example, the initial music in the first two minutes contrasts the solo bride's singing with the bridesmaid's chorus. Both are marked at 80bpm, but a lot of other performances take the bridesmaid's chorus relatively way too slowly. If you do it at the right tempo, it's awesome, particularly the rhythmic "tripping" as some of the measures of the bridesmaid's music are in 5/8 rather than 6/8.

    The tempo, and therefore, the character and expression, has to be right. I love e.g. the rustic muscular aggressiveness at 4:55 in that performance, it almost has sexual undertones.

    In general, classical music is played (a.) too slowly and (b.) not evenly and equally too slowly in different parts of a piece. The closer you perform to the tempo markings, the better. In Stravinsky's Les Noces, it matters, as it does in Beethoven's symphonies.

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  12. #38
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    Some of it I find comically bad, like Les Noces. I know Boulez thinks it's an amazing achievement, but I just start laughing when I hear it. There are a lot of odd quirks in his neoclassical period besides the neoclassicism: he is obsessed with wind instruments and certain chords are overused. But I quite like the Violin Concerto, Orpheus, and the Mass. But his stuff from the early 50s I find to be the most moving—the Cantata and Agon are both beautiful. I used to hate the Cantata, but it has really grown on me and I find it beautiful in a simple, elegant way. Meanwhile, the octet leaves me cold.
    Last edited by EmperorOfIceCream; Oct-31-2020 at 02:52.

  13. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmperorOfIceCream View Post
    ...... Meanwhile, the octet leaves me cold.
    Interesting?? It's such a wonderful work, a little masterpiece....

  14. #40
    Senior Member JAS's Avatar
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    I have never really warmed to anything by him beyond Firebird (and The Fairy's Kiss).
    Last edited by JAS; Oct-31-2020 at 16:03.

  15. #41
    Senior Member Lisztian's Avatar
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    I enjoy every period but the neo-classical is probably my favourite. So much gorgeous and engrossing music.
    Last edited by Lisztian; Oct-31-2020 at 17:38.

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