Item #38466 Autograph musical manuscript sketch leaf for the composer's opera The Rake's Progress. Signed and dated September 13, [19)]53. Igor STRAVINSKY.

Autograph musical manuscript sketch leaf for the composer's opera The Rake's Progress. Signed and dated September 13, [19)]53.

Oblong quarto (267 x 185 mm.). Notated in pencil on 10 staves rastrum-drawn in ink on the verso of a sheet of his wife Vera Stravinsky's Los Angeles "La Boutique" art gallery letterhead.

With the composer's signed presentation inscription in ink to upper left margin: "To Brainard (Smith) with love and very best birthday wishes from I. Stravinsky Sept 13/53."

The sketch contains music found in Act III, scene I (performance numbers 30-32) featuring the characters Anne Truelove, Tom Rakewell's Betrothed, and the chorus. The chorus (STB) responds to Anne's question "Do you know what has come of him, Tom?" with "He's Methodist. He's Papist. He's converting Jewry." Anne sings "Can no one tell me where he is," to which the chorus responds "They're after him, they're after him, and they will ... (catch him yet)."

The sketch includes a 6-measure partial instrumental accompaniment, possibly for cello.

The Rake's Progress, an opera in 3 acts (nine scenes and an epilogue) to a libretto by W.H. Auden and Chester Kallman after William Hogarth's series of paintings (1732-1733), was first performed, with the composer conducting, at La Fenice in Venice on 11 September 1951.

"There is no work by Stravinsky, or by anyone else, that embodies more conspicuously than The Rake's Progress the artistic self-consciousness - the consciousness of art in crisis - that is the nub and essence of 'neo-classicism'." Richard Taruskin in Grove Music Online

"The idea for The Rake's Progress arose from a Hogarth exhibition Stravinsky saw in Chicago in May 1947, and by the time W.H. Auden was co-opted as librettist that autumn, Stravinsky had formed clear ideas of the sort of work he wanted to write. Influences would include Mozart, whose opera scores he requested from Hawkes even before Auden came to Los Angeles for consultations in November 1947. From the start Auden and his co-librettist Chester Kallman understood Stravinsky's need for formal structures, in this case arias and recitatives, strict rhyming and metric schemes, and a high degree of symbolic focus in the narrative. Auden could combine these mechanical functions with the invention of verse of astonishing verbal plasticity and richness ...

... The Rake's Progress has been criticized as musically too predictable, too much the grand master's summatory neo-classical masterpiece, with its recipe of arias and recitatives (with harpsichord – though a piano was used in the first production) and its rather obvious Mozartisms, suitably coarsened, since this is Hogarth, by a flavour of The Beggar's Opera. It has been argued that Stravinsky was too tolerant of a scenario which, while it certainly dealt with the cyclic theme of death and rebirth so dear to his theatrical heart, imported too much generic and sentimental detail, especially into the scenes with the bearded lady, Baba the Turk, and the somewhat drawn-out final scene in Bedlam. But in performance, the opera is nearly always redeemed by the sheer exuberance and variety of its invention, strongest in the parodies of popular 18th-century music: the Lanterloo chorus, the Ballad Tune, Sellem's Aria, and Ann's lullaby ..." Stephen Walsh in Grove Music Online

Stravinsky's actual compositional sketches, as opposed to souvenir musical quotations, are quite scarce to the market, particularly where the sketch is from a major work such as The Rake's Progress.

Item #38466

Price: $8,500.00  other currencies

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