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Stravinsky: Soldier’s Tale

Here’s a hint: Music to cure all ills or When Igor comes marching home again.

In order to cure an ailing princess, the title character of Igor Stravinsky’s A Soldier’s Tale enters her bedroom and plays three dances on his violin. Upon hearing the opening tango, the princess is aroused from sleep, and by the end of the ragtime, she seems to be in good health. Stravinsky envisioned the “Soldier’s Tale” as a money making venture. Unlike his large orchestral ballets, such as the Firebird and the Rite of Spring, A Soldier’s Tale only required eight instrumentalists, two dancers and three actors. Due to the economic hardships of wartime Europe, the premiere only took place with generous financial backing, and the project was, on the whole, an economic failure. The moralistic libretto for the work was penned by Stravinsky’s collaborator and noted Swiss novelist Chrles Ferdinand Ramuz.

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