Igor Stravinsky lived the life of a celebrity composer in an increasingly celebrity-obsessed age. He was a true modern, a man of his time. In Paris he dined with Joyce, Picasso and Proust, and by the end of his life was being feted by both the White House and the Kremlin as a prime piece of Cold War capital. But his colourful life would be mean little to us were it not for the brilliant and original music he produced, music that reflected and shaped his own times, and which continues to speak today.Born in Russia, Stravinsky spent most of his long life in exile. While he swiftly became a cosmopolitan composer, speaking the international language of modernist ‘Western’ music, the sting of his estrangement never left him. The sense of distance, loss and nostalgia, the wistful looking back evident in so much of Stravinsky’s music, is not only a response to personal tragedy, but also a powerful expression of the deep anxiety and alienation of his age. Igor Stravinsky offers an in-depth critical overview of the life and work of this extraordinary citizen of the 20th Century.
Jonathan Cross’s accessible and engaging biography offers a new understanding of how Stravinsky’s life lived in exile can be understood through his creative work, and gives a fresh portrait of a milieu stretching from St Petersburg, to Paris and Los Angeles, all seen through the eyes of this fascinating composer.
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