Sunday, January 16, 2011

"Congratulations great success Firebird press." Or, "more reasons that I enjoy reading composers' letters."

After reading 85 pages of Stravinsky correspondences, I've learned several things-
1) Stravinsky had the original ironic mustache.
2) The seemingly most common way to sign letters in Russian translates as "I embrace you."
3) Diaghilev used the phrase "great success" very frequently. (The Russian language uses neither articles nor the verb 'to be' in the present tense, thus translations need a bit of love to make them fluid and logical, or are just left alone for authenticity.)
4) Dalcroze had an almost creepy obsession with Stravinsky: 

My dear friend,

I call you “friend”, although I never see you, but my students know that I love your music, which is “you”, and they love you as I do. I saw you again yesterday and enjoyed seeing you again, for to me you embody youth, ardor, sensibility, and the superb genius of discovery in the –alas- unexplored realm of musical sensation. You probably do not know that your music –which is you- is the subject of almost all of my conversations with my disciples- to a much greater degree than that of Debussy, or especially Ravel. I single out your music because it exposes a state of the soul and a nervous psychic receptivity that anyone concerned with human movement needs to comprehend.(I think you understand me.) I know your scores, I have studied them…I have no reason to reproach myself in your regard. You occupy my thoughts, and I, in every instant of my time, seek to consecrate your thoughts, to scrutinize them, and to deepen them. Moreover, I seek to imprint your ideas, which I understand and love, upon my own [work].
Also, "Man of genius that you are, though, I believe that you could penetrate my secret, intimate feelings, still amorphous attempts at creating an ameliorization of of contemporary ballet..." You can't make this stuff up. Also, ameliorization is not a word; these letters were translated from French so I imagine the author meant "amelioration".

5) After 63 pages, I realized that I was reading Volume 2. Oops.

More to come as I continue reading.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Alyssa!

    I just wanted you to know that despite knowing nothing about classical music, I've really been enjoying reading your blog!