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Igor Stravinsky: The Final Chorale (3/3)

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Published on May 31, 2011

The Finale Chorale,' concerns itself with the 'Symphonies of Wind Instruments' from 1920. 'Symphonies' was written in memory of Stravinsky's friend and colleague, Claude Debussy -- one remembers that the first private performance of 'Sacre de Printemps' was a four-hand version prepared by Stravinsky and with Debussy sight-reading the bass part, reportedly without making any mistakes! -- and it is a paradigm of Stravinsky's mosaic or block style of formal organization. Interviews with Stravinsky's acolyte, Robert Craft, as well as the conductor of a performance of the piece, Reinbert de Leeuw, form the main spoken parts of the documentary. One sees various musicians of the acclaimed Netherlands Wind Ensemble as they rehearse, make reeds, practice by themselves, talk about their experience with the piece. Included is much archival film of the composer at work.

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