Chapter

Markevitch as Icarus

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520249776.003.0018
Markevitch as Icarus

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This chapter focuses on Igor Markevitch and his reputed masterpiece Icare. His Icarus ballet has been interpreted as a metaphor for its composer's fate and was intended as a memorial to Diaghilev. The ballet tells about the arrogant high-flying youth of Greek mythology who fell to earth and perished in consequence of his hubris. Markevitch has a great flair for colorful orchestral and often polyrhythmic textures and in his works, such as Icare and Rebus and in two monumental suites Hymnes and Le Nouvel Age, he often builds up magnificent sonic montages combining concurrent ostinatos with two, three, four, six, and nine beats to the bar. Markevitch, in his late years, later retreated into the realm of maverick scholarship which led to a vast study of Beethoven's symphonies published in German in 1983.

Keywords: Igor Markevitch; Icare; Rebus; Hymnes; Le Nouvel Age; Greek mythology

Chapter.  2571 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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