Monday, 11 May 1998

Igor Stravinsky: The Poetics of Music (1947)

Translation: Arthur Knodel and Ingolf Dahl, 1947
Edition: Harvard University Press
Review number: 41

This book consists of a series of six lectures delivered in Paris, translated from the original French.

Considering how much I like Stravinsky's music, and how much the music he made influenced the development of twentieth century classical music, his views about music turned out to be somewhat disappointing. He subscribed to the idea that there was little of any intellectual content in romantic music, for example, and is extremely dismissive of it. The introduction, by George Seferis, is a probably best skipped, being both pretentious and uninteresting.

By far the most interesting part of the book is the section on Russian music, where Stravinsky naturally has a particular personal viewpoint.

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