excerpt from 'Igor Stravinsky: An Autobiography' pp. 109 (206 words)

excerpt from 'Igor Stravinsky: An Autobiography' pp. 109 (206 words)

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Igor Stravinsky: An Autobiography

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I must come back now to my 'Octuor', the composition of which had been interrupted while I was orchestrating 'Les Noces'. I finished it in May, 1923, and conducted it myself on October 18 of that year in the Paris Opera House at a Koussevitsky concert. / I remember what an effort it cost me to establish an ensemble of eight wind instruments, for they could not strike the listener’s ear with a great display of tone. In order that this music should reach the ear of the public it was necessary to emphasize the entries of the several instruments, to introduce breathing spaces between the phrases (rests), to pay particular care to the intonation, the instrumental prosody, the accentuation – in short, to establish order and discipline in the purely sonorous scheme to which I always give precedence over elements of an emotional character. It was all the more difficult because at that time, when I was only just beginning my career as a conductor, I had not yet got the necessary technique, which I acquired later only with practice. And, for that matter, the instrumentalists themselves were unaccustomed to this method of treating the art of playing because, all told, very few conductors employ it.

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excerpt from 'Igor Stravinsky: An Autobiography' pp. 109 (206 words)


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