December 29, 2016

University of Maryland doctoral conducting students Brian Coffill and David Wacyk have been selected, through a juried application process, to give poster presentations at the 2017 College Band Directors National Conference in Kansas City, Missouri.

David will be presenting his paper, "Stravinsky's Symphonies of Wind Instruments: Toward a New Understanding of Pitch Structure​," on Thurs...

February 1, 2016

Symphonies of Wind Instruments

Igor Stravinsky

Throughout his career, Stravinsky was occupied with memorial works, ranging from the Chant Funebre of 1908 (composed on the death of Rimsky Korsakov) to the late works, Elegy for J.F.K. and the orchestral variations Aldous Huxley in Memoriam.  He was also fascinated with ritual music from the ancient, pagan rituals of The Rite of Spring and ...

November 1, 2014

Octet for Wind Instruments

  1. Sinfonia

  2. Tema con Variazioni

  3. Finale

Igor Stravinsky

Born: June 17, 1882, Oranienbaum (now Lomonosov), Russia

Died: April 6, 1971, New York, New York

Instrumentation: Flute, clarinet, two bassoons, two trumpets, two trombones

Composed: 1923

Duration: 16 minutes

“The Octet began with a dream,” Stravinsky recalled in his Dialogues and a Diary,

"...in whi...

July 12, 2011

I've recently come across Igor Stravinsky's Obituary written by Donal Henahan, and printed in the New York Times upon the composer's death in 1971. Though it might seem a bit cryptic as material for this blog, it is actually a very interesting read. For those that are Stravinsky enthusiasts,history buffs, or are less acquainted with Stravinsky's life and works, it's a great way to step...

May 15, 2011

Given our recent concert with Pulcinella, today's Composers Datebook seemed appropriate.

Audio for Composers Datebook 5/15/2011

Stravinsky and Rochberg start trends

Today we celebrate two premieres and one three-letter prefix: "neo," meaning "new."

On today's date in 1920, Igor Stravinsky's ballet "Pulcinella" was produced for the first time in Paris by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. Stravins...

August 4, 2010

Stravinsky's Circus Polka is not one of his most well-known pieces for winds, but it is certainly a fun and interesting piece to listen to. You won't find a lot of the intellectual stimulation that is in the rest of his music, but the piece certainly gives a window into his compositional mindset. Program notes are below.

Program Notes from the Redwood Symphony by Barbara Heninger, edite...

June 30, 2010

In a manner of speaking, today's blog post is a continuation of yesterday's post on Igor Stravinsky's Mass and will deal with the Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments. Written between 1923 and 1924 (just four years after Symphonies of Wind Instruments), the Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments is an example of Stravinsky's early neoclassicism. The piece was composed at the reques...

June 29, 2010

Igor Stravinsky's contributions to the wind repertoire cannot be overstated and his importance to winds is probably only second to Mozart. L'Histoire du Soldat, Symphonies of Wind Instruments (1920 and 1947), Octet, Piano Concerto, and the Mass have all become standards in the wind world. Since we have already posted on the Octet and Symphonies of Wind Instruments, this post will focus...

May 30, 2010

This is easily one of the most important and greatest pieces written for winds. Stravinsky's Octet, written in 1923 and widely regarded as his first truly neoclassical pieces, is written for an odd instrumentation (Fl, Clar, 2 Bsn, 2 Tpt, 2 Tbn) that, according to Stravinsky, appeared to him in a dream. This is a dubious claim at best, but interesting nonetheless. You can find some mor...

May 16, 2010

The Symphonies of Wind Instruments, composed in 1920--seven years after The Rite of Spring--is one of Igor Stravinsky's most original and influential compositions. A poor premiere performance (Stravinsky later referred to it as the "execution of my Symphonies in the literal, firing-squad sense") and the work's austere effect meant that it was not greeted with the rioting of The Rite of...

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