Music professor pens new Stravinsky book

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Distinguished Professor of Music Maureen Carr’s most recent book, "After the Rite: Stravinsky’s Path to Neoclassicism (1914-1925)," was released by Oxford University Press on July 10. 

The book traces the evolution of Stravinsky's compositional style as he searched for his own voice in the explosive musical world of the early 20th century, when there was harsh criticism of his work. The riot that erupted during the 1913 debut of Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring" at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris has long been one of the most infamous and intriguing events of modern musical history. The third in a series of works commissioned for Sergei Diaghalev's famed Ballets Russes, the piece combined disjunct tonalities, provocative rhythms, and radical choreography that threw spectators and critics into a literal fury.

Throughout the book, Carr presents new transcriptions and sophisticated analyses of selected musical sketches to show the genesis of Stravinsky's musical ideas as he forayed into surrealism, classicism and abstraction to develop his signature neoclassical style. Exploring these annotated compositional experiments -- such as the earliest evidence of Stravinsky's appropriation of the "rag idiom" and the development of his so-called "sound blocks" -- "After the Rite" provides new insight into how Stravinsky challenged and guided the musical developments of the decade after that legendary Paris premiere.

"After the Rite" was published with the support of the Otto Kinkeldey Endowment of the American Musicological Society, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Carr's previous writings on Stravinsky include "Multiple Masks: Neoclassicism in Stravinsky’s Works on Greek Subjects" and "Stravinsky’s Histoire du soldat: A Facsimile of the Sketches." Her most recent publication, "Stravinsky’s Pulcinella: A Facsimile of the Sources and Sketches," received a Citation of Special Merit from the Society for Music Theory (SMT).

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Last Updated July 21, 2014