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Happy Birthday!
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Author:  Hostrauser [ Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Happy Birthday!

Today is the 127th anniversary of the birth of Igor Stravinsky. Go listen to one of his ballets in celebration. 8-)

Author:  PGOK [ Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Happy Birthday!

Hostrauser wrote:
Today is the 127th anniversary of the birth of Igor Stravinsky. Go listen to one of his ballets in celebration. 8-)


I was looking for information about Stravinsky's few band piece, "Circus Polka" and found the following:

Circus Polka was originally choreographed by Balanchine for circus elephants, a commission from the Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus. The story is told that after receiving the commission, Balanchine immediately called his friend Stravinsky, to ask him to compose the music. "What kind of music?" asked Stravinsky. "A polka." was Balanchine's reply. "For whom?" "Elephants." "How old?" "Young." "If they are very young, I'll do it." The score's dedication reads: "For a young elephant." After its premiere as a dance for pachyderms, Circus Polka was rechoreographed by Balanchine for a one-time program (danced by School of American Ballet students) entitled "Adventures in Ballet," at Carnegie Hall on November 5, 1945.

Author:  Hostrauser [ Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Happy Birthday!

I did know it was for elephants. I did not know the rest. :lol:

Stravinsky's also the source of possibly the single-most useful quote regarding musical composition ever:
"I have learned throughout my life as a composer chiefly through my mistakes and pursuits of false assumptions, not by my exposure to founts of wisdom and knowledge."

Author:  vore [ Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Happy Birthday!

And... the piece was only played for the circus once. The elephants did not like the music and started to react in a very unsafe manner for the handlers and the audience.

We performed it in the CSU Fullerton Wind Ensemble under Benton Minor. It was a hoot! The facial expressions of the audience were priceless...

vore 8-)

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