Autograph Music Manuscript - Igor Stravinsky

STRAVINSKY, Igor (1882-1971). Autograph manuscript signed ('Igor Stravinsky') about The Rake's Progress, n.d. [c.1951].

In English. One page (304 x 239mm), (incomplete: final page of manuscript). Provenance: Edwin Franko Goldman collection.

'I believe “music drama” and “opera” to be two very, very different things. My life work is a devotion to the latter.' Opening mid-way through a sentence on The Rake's Progress, Stravinsky notes that W.H. Auden and Chester Kallman 'delivered what is surely one of the most beautiful of libretti' in 1948, and that composition has taken him three years. Explaining how the work varies from The Nightingale and Mavra ('"The Nightingale" seems more remote to me now than the English operas of thee centuries ago...'), Stravinsky laments the role of the musical-dramatists. '“The Rake’s Progress” is, emphatically, an opera ... in the line of the classical tradition'.

The Rake's Progress was finally completed in April 1951 and first performed, after much lobbying and infighting, at La Fenice in Venice on the 11 September.

 

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