Conversations with Igor Stravinsky by Igor Stravinsky, Robert Craft

By Igor Stravinsky, Robert Craft

Conversations with Igor Stravinsky

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1903, 1904, and 1905, and therefore met many composers, conductors, and virtuosi there. Rimsky could speak French and English, the latter language having been acquired during his term as a naval officer, but he did not know German. As I spoke the language fluently from my childhood, he sometimes asked me to translate for him and a German-speaking guest. I remember meeting the conductors Artur Nikisch and Hans Richter in this way. The latter knew no word of any language but German, and Rimsky, with no German-speaking member of his family present, had to send for me.

After the "performance" we were excited, angry, disgusted, and . . happy. I went with Diaghilev and Nijinsky to a restaurant. " He certainly looked contented. No one could have been quicker to understand the publicity value, and he immediately understood the good thing that had happened in that respect. Quite probably he had already thought about the possibility of such a scandal when I first played him the score, months before, in the east corner ground room of the Grand Hotel in Venice. " If so, did any of it become Les Noces?

He brought me a complicated score of incredible size, his instrumentation of Balakirev Islamey, and asked me to comment on it and to advise him. What could one say about such a thing? I felt like a poor little child"--- and saying so he seemed humiliated. I remember seeing Mahler in Saint Petersburg, too. -38- His concert there was a triumph. Rimsky was still alive, I believe, but he wouldn't have attended because a work by Tchaikovsky was on the program (I think it was Manfred, the dullest piece imaginable).

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