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Igor Stravinsky’s L'Histoire du Soldat: A Story for Today

Sat, May 8, 2021 – 6:30 pm + Sun, May 9, 2021 – 3:00 pm

Igor Stravinsky’s L'Histoire du Soldat: A Story for Today

PostClassical Ensemble is joined by world-renowned trombonist David Taylor and award-winning actor Edward Gero, in a new imagining of the Stravinsky classic with a new moral: #SAVETHEARTS.

In the wake of World War I, Igor Stravinsky was living in Switzerland, cut off from his family estate in Russia. He was receiving no royalties from his publisher in Berlin. Stage performances of his music by Diaghilev’s Ballet Russe were very infrequent. His concert works were virtually dormant. With the Swiss writer C. F. Ramuz, he conceived a small, portable entertainment, requiring neither a large theater nor a large orchestra, in fact suitable for outdoor performance. They imagined a small touring company of players – as an aspiration that proved impractical. But the work itself has vigorously survived.

The pertinence of A Soldier’s Tale today is self-evident. It is a COVID entertainment: compact, flexible, rejecting Romantic symphonic upholstery in favor of a dry, caustic sonority conducive to bitter entertainments, light-hearted yet not evasive.

Not in my wildest imaginings could I have envisioned such revelatory and shocking interpretations… . When Taylor improvised on the bass trombone, he transformed the familiar into something strange, still plangent and bewitching, but now uttered by a voice from another world. The pathos was unrelenting, almost too much to bear.

Sudip Bose, The American Scholar, on hearing David Taylor play Schubert with PostClassical Ensemble

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