In <i>The Rake's Progress</i>, Love Conquers (Almost) All

Richard Taruskin

in The Danger of Music and Other Anti-Utopian Essays

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780520249776
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942790 | DOI:
In The Rake's Progress, Love Conquers (Almost) All

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This chapter focuses on Igor Stravinsky and his work in Rake's Progress, the actual text of which was written by W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman. Stravinsky had made his early fame as a staff composer for Sergey Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, and vociferously supported Diaghilev's views that opera was an outmoded art form, that does not deserve to survive in the twentieth century. Robert Craft, Stravinsky's longtime assistant was hired to read the Rake libretto who thought that he was merely obstinate and the English in the opera was hideously mis-set and impossibly awkward. The Rake is also full of various wobbly oscillations or vacillations between major and minor versions of a single chord, with which Stravinsky was primarily preoccupied during the 1940s.

Keywords: Igor Stravinsky; Rake's Progress; W. H. Auden; Chester Kallman; Sergey Diaghilev; Robert Craft

Chapter.  3971 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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