Composition 3

MUH 2026

Stravinsky - Symphonies of Wind Instruments (Symphonies d'instruments à vent),


Grove article on Stravinsky (APU Campus only).

BBC Radio 3 Discovering Music Programmes on Stravinsky

Principal influences

There is evidently an element of folk music in the opening, with its 'wrong notes' and the flute and clarinet duos. The use of these types of dissonances: the contradiction between a major key and the key a minor third above this - in this case, G major and B flat major:

play it (midi file)

Stravinsky is not usually thought of as an especially nationalistic composers, and yet he was taught by Rimsky-Korsakov, he retained an enormous affection for Tchaikosky throughout his life, and one of the keys to his early success was the attraction of the concert-going public in Paris to the 'new' foreigners that were present at that time. See also, Diaghelev, Dada, Surrealism...

There is also an increased interest in structure.

Concerning The Rite of Spring, Stravinsky said that 'all he had was his ear', and that ballet is not really structured in any conscious way. However, in the complex tempo relations of the Symphonies we can perhaps see the results of a growing interest in the conscious use of structures.

There is also, perhaps, an element of eclecticism - in juxtaposition - that is symptomatic of what will happen in the future.

The beginnings of neo-classicism?

Some questions

Stravinsky Techniques