Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Igor Stravinsky: Innovative Cadence In Sound

Portrait of Stravinsky                               Robert Delauney, 1917

There is no question that the composer, Igor Stravinsky, redefined pattern or rhythm in 20th century classical music. His work led him to be called a leading innovator in 20 century music, an trait traced to his composition of The Firebird in 1910 when he was 27. For a taste of that music here is the finale. (Keep in mind that Henry Ford sold 10,000 cars that year, half the American population lived on farms or towns with fewer than 2500 people, and the flying machine was a rare and thrilling sight.)

In the ninety years since the premiere of The Firebird, its innovative sounds have been re-patterned by the likes of Aaron Copeland, Leonard Bernstein, John Williams and others. The American classical composer who has perhaps carried rhythm as art to its farthest horizons is Philip Glass. Here is one piece that supports that conclusion.

Who knows what is in store for classical music on future horizons? It has been an interesting thread over the last century and one I'm happy to say that Stravinsky, born on this day in 1882, enjoyed into its seventh decade. 

Illustration, Garman Ryan Collection, The New Art Gallery Walsall, West Midlands, England

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