Barnaby Thieme's Reviews > Poetics of Music in the Form of Six Lessons

Poetics of Music in the Form of Six Lessons by Igor Stravinsky
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's review
Jun 04, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: music
Read in June, 2009

There are composers like Arnold Schoenberg and Pierre Boulez who are also gifted communicators and insightful students of music history and theory. Then there are composers like Igor Stravinsky, whose genius of expression lies purely in non-discursive domains.

This series of lecture transcripts gives the impression of an animated but disorganized speaker extemporaneously speaking on vague topic areas without preparation. His basic unit of thought seems to be about the size of a sentence, and Stravinsky never gives a sense of developing ideas. Occasionally his observations have anecdotal value, and there are buried gems, but there is much chaff and little wheat in this slender book.

The best thing I got out of reading it is a mild sense of personal connection to one of the great musical minds of the twentieth century, but he gives little insight into the nature of his genius or his method.
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