By Igor Stravinsky, Robert Craft
Conversations with Igor Stravinsky
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Extra info for Conversations with Igor Stravinsky
I suppose my conversations with him, or rather with his wife, for he was always silent, were typical: Mme. Rachmaninov: What is the first thing you do when you rise in the morning? ) Myself: For fifteen minutes I do exercises taught me by a Hungarian gymnast and Kneipp Kur maniac, or rather I did them until I learned that the Hungarian had died very young and very suddenly, then I stand on my head, then I take a shower. Mme. Rachmaninov: You see, Serge, Stravinsky takes showers. How extraordinary.
I remember an excursion I made with Ravel from Clarens to Varese, near Lago Maggiore, to buy Varese paper. The town was very crowded and we could not find two hotel rooms or even two beds, so we slept together in one. Ravel? When I think of him, for example, in relation to Satie, he appears quite ordinary. His musical judgment was very acute, however, and I would say that he was the only musician who immediately understood Le Sacre du Printemps. He was dry and reserved, and sometimes little darts were hidden in his remarks, but he was always a very good friend to me.
I left my seat when the heavy noises began -- light noise had started from the very beginning -- and went backstage behind Nijinsky in the right wing. Nijinsky stood on a chair, just out of view of the audience, -47- shouting numbers to the dancers. I wondered what on earth these numbers had to do with the music, for there are no "thirteens" and "seventeens" in the metrical scheme of the score. From what I heard of the musical performance it was not bad. Sixteen full rehearsals had given the orchestra at least some security.