Stravinsky Inside Out
Last updated: 17.12.19
Printed: 2001 Author: Charles M. Joseph
Publisher: Yale Univiversity Press ISBN: 0300075375
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Hardcover - 336 pages (September 1, 2001) Usually ships within 24 hours.
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From Publishers Weekly
Along with other scholars, Joseph (Stravinsky and Balanchine, forthcoming) has undertaken a reevaluation of the life and legacy of Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971). For several decades, the composer of Rite of Spring and Firebird has been seen through the lens of idolizer, writer and conductor Robert Craft, whose many books about Stravinsky, and those supposedly written with him, must be taken with several grains of salt. Joseph, a Skidmore College professor of liberal arts, focuses on specific issues of Stravinsky criticism in chapters like "Boswellizing an Icon: Stravinsky, Craft, and the Historian's Dilemma" and "Film Documentaries: The Composer On and Off Camera." He recounts Stravinsky's stormy relationship with his son Soulima, who was Joseph's college piano teacher, and the composer's relations with many prominent figures: he kept a copy of W.H. Auden's The Age of Anxiety in which Auden inscribed, "Leonard Bernstein is a shit." Joseph is almost supernaturally polite about what he believes to be Craft's shoddy work, especially as the latter denied him permission to quote certain documents. However, Joseph gratuitously and inaccurately calls pianist Glenn Gould "always outlandish" when in fact he was an eccentric genius who happened to loathe Stravinsky, which seems increasingly understandable. The more we know about Stravinsky, an anti-Semitic fan of Mussolini who behaved badly toward colleagues, friends and family, the more he makes Picasso look like a choirboy. A certain macabre wit keeps him entertaining, though, such as when he annotated a Time article that called him an "animated Gothic gargoyle" with the words "How kind." Although sometimes lapsing into dense academic prose, this book adds new material to ongoing Stravinsky studies and should attract modern music aficionados. Photos.
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From Library Journal
Joseph (liberal arts, Skidmore Coll.; Stravinsky and the Piano) presents a fascinatingly eclectic mix of essays on various aspects of Stravinsky's career, with special emphasis on how he influenced or was influenced by aspects of 20th-century culture such as television, motion pictures, musical developments, and historical events.