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Proof through the NightMusic and the Great War$
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Glenn Watkins

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780520231580

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520231580.001.0001

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Charades and Masquerades

Charades and Masquerades

(p.140) 8 Charades and Masquerades
Proof through the Night

Glenn Watkins

University of California Press

The conductor Pierre Monteux, who was already at the front and had seen many of his musicians killed or wounded during the Great War, wrote to Igor Stravinsky in December 1914 that he would never again negotiate with a German publisher and expressed the hope that a German conductor would never be engaged for the Ballets Russes. Stravinsky's reactions to the war appeared in numerous guises over the next few years, but he never more clearly registered his abhorrence of the Germans than in a piece for solo piano titled “Souvenir d'une marche boche.” Soulima Stravinsky, the composer's son, stated that “Souvenir d'une marche boche” was virtually improvised on the spot in a moment of high energy, but this seems somewhat suspect in light of the artfully sly incorporation of a march figure taken from the finale of Ludwig van Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Richard Taruskin concluded with good reason that the march is a “heavy mockery of everything Teutonic, it makes a pointed jab at Beethoven's Fifth.”.

Keywords:   Great War, Igor Stravinsky, piano, march, Ludwig van Beethoven

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