Stravinsky's Piano: Genesis of a Musical Language

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Cambridge University Press, Feb 21, 2013 - Music - 335 pages
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Stravinsky's reinvention in the early 1920s, as both neoclassical composer and concert-pianist, is here placed at the centre of a fundamental reconsideration of his whole output - viewed from the unprecedented perspective of his relationship with the piano. Graham Griffiths assesses Stravinsky's musical upbringing in St Petersburg with emphasis on his education at the hands of two extraordinary teachers whom he later either ignored or denounced: Leokadiya Kashperova, for piano and Rimsky-Korsakov, for instrumentation. Their message, Griffiths argues, enabled Stravinsky to formulate from that intensely Russian experience an internationalist brand of neoclassicism founded upon the premises of objectivity and craft. Drawing directly on the composer's manuscripts, Griffiths addresses Stravinsky's lifelong fascination with counterpoint and with pianism's constructive processes. Stravinsky's Piano presents both of these as recurring features of the compositional attitudes that Stravinsky consistently applied to his works, whether Russian, neoclassical or serial and regardless of idiom and genre.

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Becoming a neoclassicist
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Departures and homecomings
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About the author (2013)

Graham Griffiths studied musicology at Edinburgh University and music education at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, obtaining his DPhil in Musicology in 2008 at Christ Church, Oxford. Between 1989 and 1999 he directed Grupo Novo Horizonte de Sao Paulo and guest-lectured at Brazilian and Danish universities. In 2005 his article 'Fingering as Compositional Process: Stravinsky's Piano Sonata Sketchbook Revisited' was published by British Postgraduate Musicology Online. Recently Griffiths has delivered courses at the universities of Bath ('Stravinsky's Spain'), Bristol ('Performance'), Canterbury Christ Church ('Music Since 1900') and Oxford ('Stravinsky and the Twentieth Century'). He has been a Visiting Lecturer at City University, London since 2010.

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