Stravinsky's Ballets Charles M. Joseph

Yale Music Masterworks
Publication date:
13 Oct 2011
Yale University Press
320 pages: 239 x 165 x 31mm
11 black-&-white illustrations

Buy this eBook

Yale eBooks are available in a variety of formats, including Kindle, ePub and ePDF. You can purchase this title from a number of online retailers (see below).

Rite of SpringIgor Stravinsky was a towering composer of the twentieth century and closely linked to dance. His early commissions for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes - The Firebird, Petrouchka, and The Rite of Spring - put him on the international map and propelled both ballet and music into the modern age. Even so, these brilliant pieces were but a prelude to Stravinsky's lifelong exploration of dance and dance idioms, as Charles M. Joseph convincingly demonstrates in this brilliant survey of all of the composer's ballet music.

Joseph provides superb analyses of each of Stravinsky's ballet pieces, examining the composer's own drafts, notes, and sketches to discover how he conceived of and developed each work. This book also explores how Stravinsky's unorthodox new music energized colleagues, among them George Balanchine, and attracted a glittering array of artists including Tamara Karsavina, Vaslav Nijinski, Picasso, and Jean Cocteau. Joseph creates an intense, intimate portrait of Stravinsky and offers a fresh perspective on the musical revolutionary who changed the definition of music made for dance.

Charles M. Joseph is professor emeritus of music and the former dean and vice president of academic affairs, Skidmore College. He is the author of two previous books published by Yale University Press, Stravinsky and Balanchine, the winner of an ASCAP Award in Biography, and Stravinsky Inside Out. He lives in Saratoga Springs, NY.

"This is essentially a study for any listener who responds to the dance element which coursed through Stravinsky’s imagination and which Joseph expounds in brightly illuminating detail."—John Warrack, Gramophone

"The clarity and breadth of Joseph’s analysis proficiently affirms the terpsichorean contours of Stravinsky’s achievement."—Steve Yearley, Times Higher Education

"A vivid study of Stravinsky’s character and compositions. After years with his subject, Joseph has a bird’s eye command of the material. Seizing important details, rather than getting bogged down in knotty analysis…this is a refreshingly approachable read. And it rightly places Stravinsky’s ballets at the forefront of his output."—Gavin Plumley, Classical Music

"Stravinsky’s Ballets is undoubtedly an extremely useful summary, and a valuable starting point for any newcomers to the Stravinsky dance literature, encouraging them to read more."—Stephanie Jordan, Dancing Times

"Engaging and genuinely informative."—Daniel Jaffe, BBC Music Magazine