"The trouble with music appreciation in general is that people are taught to have too much respect for music; they should be taught to love it instead."
Igor Stravinsky (20th-Century Composers)
From his unhappy childhood in St. Petersburg through his years in Paris and the United States, from The Nightingale through The Owl and the Pussycat, British writer Michael Oliver traces the life and work of Igor Stravinsky. His landmark ballet, The Rite of Spring is thought of as a classic today, but it inspired riots at its Paris premiere in 1913. Oliver follows Stravinsky's work from juvenilia through modernism and serialism and back to tonalism in an easily accessible biography, part of the Phaidon Press Limited 20th Century Composers series. This book, which never gets too technical, makes a good start for anyone with a growing interest in Stravinsky and his music. There is a guide to his works and to other biographies in the back of the book.
Stravinsky : Chronicle of a Friendship
First published in 1972, this highly-acclaimed biography of one of the century's greatest composers now features nearly twice as many illustrations and one-third more text. Based on Craft's 25-year diary of his friendship with Stravinsky.
Stravinsky and the Russian Traditions : A Biography of the Works Through Mavra
We are used to thinking of Stravinsky in terms of avant-garde Paris in the 1920s, the epitome of modernism. These two hefty volumes of unassailable scholarship and fascinating detail correct this blinkered vision, which to some extent is a product of Stravinsky's own self-marketing. Richard Taruskin demonstrates Stravinsky's place in the specific cultural traditions of his homeland, pulling together with impressive intellectual breadth the influences of Russian music, art, literature, folklore, religious liturgy, and more. He illustrates the composer's legacy from Rimsky-Korsakov, Glazunov, Scriabin, and Tchaikovsky in the pre-Diaghilev period, and dazzles with his analysis of folk influence in Petrushka and on through the famously innovative, yet rooted The Rite of Spring. Further volumes will be eagerly awaited by all lovers of Stravinsky's music.
The Stravinsky Legacy
"It has become increasingly apparent in recent decades that Stravinsky's music has had a far-reaching influence on the development of music in our century. Stravinsky's modernist innovations - evident in such features as his music's discontinuity, its stasis, its ritualised anti-narrative, its novel rhythmic and formal structures, its articulation of new kinds of musical time, and its reinterpretation of music and materials from the past - have helped shape much of the music of our time. This book represents a first substantial attempt at evaluating Stravinsky's technical and aesthetic legacy." (from the book jacket)