February 23 ~  More Potent Than Love Memories & Commentaries

"In order to create, there must be a dynamic force, and what force is more potent than love?" ~ Igor Stravinsky

Igor Stravinsky Dynamic Russian-born composer Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky (1882-1971), a child of Pre-Soviet Russia, was born in Oranienbaum. He was a mediocre student who grew up immersed in music, inspired by his father, a singer with the Imperial Opera. 

"The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one's self," he said.

With his ballet scores The Firebird (1909) and Petrushka (1911), Stravinsky rose to fame. The success gave him "absolute conviction" as he took three years to write Le sacre du prin temps, (The Rite of Spring, 1913).

The opera premiered to a major scandal at Paris' Théâtre des Champs-Élysées as the intricate and innovative score shocked the audience into a guerre à mort, pandemonium, because of its "perverse" choreography and "blasphemous" revolutionary rhythms.

"I left the hall in rage," Stravinsky said of the crowd's reaction. "The music was so familiar to me; I loved it, and I could not understand why people who had not yet heard it wanted to protest in advance."

"My music," he explained, " is best understood by children and animals."

Le sacre was an earthquake of primal rhythms. The entire orchestra became a single percussive unit to celebrate what Stravinsky called "the most wonderful event of every year of my childhood... the violent Russian spring that seemed to begin in an hour and was like the whole earth cracking."

In rejecting the rules and celebrating the passion of his muse, the maestro created new standards, fresh sounds, with dynamic force as potent as love

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