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Игорь Фёдорович Стравинский

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Biography

Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky (Russian: Игорь Фёдорович Стравинский, Igor’ Fëdorovič Stravinskij) (June 17, 1882 – April 6, 1971) was a who first achieved international fame with three ballets commissioned by the impresario Serge Diaghilev and performed by Diaghilev’s (Russian Ballet): L’Oiseau de Feu (“The Firebird”) (1910), Petrushka (1911), and Le Sacre Du Printemps (“The Rite of Spring”) (1913). The Rite, whose premiere provoked a riot, transformed the way in which subsequent composers thought about rhythmic structure; to this day its vision of pagan rituals enacted in an imaginary ancient Russia continues to dazzle and overwhelm audiences.

Stravinsky’s compositional career was notable for its stylistic diversity. After his first, Russian (), phase he turned in the 1920s to . The works from this period tended to make use of traditional musical forms (concerto grosso, fugue, symphony), frequently concealed a vein of intense emotion beneath a surface appearance of detachment or austerity, and often paid tribute to the music of earlier masters, for example J.S. Bach, Verdi and Tchaikovsky.

In the 1950s he adopted procedures, using the new techniques over the final twenty years of his life to write works that were briefer and of greater rhythmic, harmonic, and textural complexity than his earlier music.

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