Sacred Music in Igor Stravinsky’s work. Symphony of Psalms

Authors

  • PhD Student Viviana Farcaș "George Enescu" National University of Arts Iași

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.35218/

Keywords:

Stravinski, religious music, the 20th century, psalm

Abstract

Researching the music of the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky, devoutness is not the first attribute that I have offered it. He has remained in collective memory rather as a music revolutionary, not at all a pious spirit, bent towards divinity. The modernism of his works, the tendencies that he was the first to impose but especially the scandal that chaperoned him ever since the 1913 premiere of the ballet The Rite of Spring, all these have imposed him as a “rebel” of music in the early 20th century. The composer nevertheless claimed that his music was not modern but traditional. The order and discipline which constituted the pillars of his compositions go hand in hand with his claim, the return to tradition and his love for the ancient leading audiences towards the discovery of his mystical, religious side. A far too little explored direction in that period laden with marked social and cultural events was the composition of religious music. Too few of Stravinsky’s opera were inspired from sources of this nature – this is exactly why the discovery of and finding their meanings is important. One of the representative opera of this compositional direction is represented by Symphony of Psalms, considered to be a masterpiece placed in Stravinsky’s neoclassical compositional period. The work wanted to be a return to Christian values through a musical language adapted to the times, the music being led in the spirit of the Gregorian chant, simply, to which a text in the Latin language was added. The lines of the psalms chosen in order to be capitalised on underline his predilection for the complexity of religious feelings, departing from humble imploration to glorification. Thus, although this work firstly reflects a personal religious experience, at the same time it suggests the unbounded expression of constancy in faith of a community, which seems to participate in a collective prayer.

Published

2024-04-02

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