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2024-06-17 10:51 AM | Thomas
Silence will save me from being wrong (and foolish), but it will also deprive me of the possibility of being right. 

  --Igor Stravinsky, composer (1882-1971)

(184:3.8) Although the high priest shouted at Jesus, "Do you not answer any of these charges?" Jesus opened not his mouth. He stood there in silence while all of these false witnesses gave their testimony. Hatred, fanaticism, and unscrupulous exaggeration so characterized the words of these perjurers that their testimony fell in its own entanglements. The very best refutation of their false accusations was the Master's calm and majestic silence.

(184:3.14) But Caiaphas could not longer endure the sight of the Master standing there in perfect composure and unbroken silence. He thought he knew at least one way in which the prisoner might be induced to speak. Accordingly, he rushed over to the side of Jesus and, shaking his accusing finger in the Master's face, said: "I adjure you, in the name of the living God, that you tell us whether you are the Deliverer, the Son of God." Jesus answered Caiaphas: "I am. Soon I go to the Father, and presently shall the Son of Man be clothed with power and once more reign over the hosts of heaven."

(184:3.19) Thirty prejudiced and tradition-blinded false judges, with their false witnesses, are presuming to sit in judgment on the righteous Creator of a universe. And these impassioned accusers are exasperated by the majestic silence and superb bearing of this God-man. His silence is terrible to endure; his speech is fearlessly defiant. He is unmoved by their threats and undaunted by their assaults. Man sits in judgment on God, but even then he loves them and would save them if he could.

    Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky was a Russian composer and conductor with French citizenship (from 1934) and American citizenship (from 1945). He is widely considered one of the most important and influential composers of the 20th century and a pivotal figure in modernist music.
    Born to a famous bass in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Stravinsky grew up taking piano and music theory lessons. While studying law at the University of Saint Petersburg, he met Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and studied under him until his death in 1908. Stravinsky met the impresario Sergei Diaghilev soon after, who commissioned the composer to write three ballets for the Ballets Russes's Paris seasons: The Firebird (1910), Petrushka (1911), and The Rite of Spring (1913), the last of which caused a near-riot at the premiere due to its avant-garde nature and later changed the way composers understood rhythmic structure.
    Stravinsky's compositional career is often divided into three periods: his Russian period (1913–1920), his neoclassical period (1920–1951), and his serial period (1954–1968). During his Russian period, Stravinsky was heavily influenced by Russian styles and folklore. Works such as Renard (1916) and Les noces (1923) drew upon Russian folk poetry, while compositions like L'Histoire du soldat (1918) integrated these folk elements with popular musical forms, including the tango, waltz, ragtime, and chorale. His neoclassical period exhibited themes and techniques from the classical period, like the use of the sonata form in his Octet (1923) and use of Greek mythological themes in works like Apollon musagète (1927), Oedipus rex (1927), and Persephone (1935). In his serial period, Stravinsky turned towards compositional techniques from the Second Viennese School like Arnold Schoenberg's twelve-tone technique. In Memoriam Dylan Thomas (1954) was the first of his compositions to be fully based on the technique, and Canticum Sacrum (1956) was his first to be based on a tone row. Stravinsky's last major work was the Requiem Canticles (1966), which was performed at his funeral.
    While many supporters were confused by Stravinsky's constant stylistic changes, later writers recognized his versatile language as important in the development of modernist music. Stravinsky's revolutionary ideas influenced composers as diverse as Aaron Copland, Philip Glass, Béla Bartók, and Pierre Boulez, who were all challenged to innovate music in areas beyond tonality, especially rhythm and form. In 1998, Time magazine listed Stravinsky as one of the 100 most influential people of the century. Stravinsky died of pulmonary edema on 6 April 1971 in New York City, having left six memoirs written with his friend and assistant Robert Craft, as well as an earlier autobiography and a series of lectures.

Black and white photo of Stravinsky resting his arms atop a piano, a score resting under his hands

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