St Petersburg, Concert Hall

L’Histoire du soldat

for narrator and ensemble

Marking 135 years since the birth of Igor Stravinsky

Performers

Cast to be announced

Credits

Music by Igor Stravinsky
Libretto by Charles Ferdinand Ramuz (translated from French into Russian by S. Petrov)

Musical Director: Ivan Stolbov
Director and Stage design: Gleb Cherepanov
Video Designer: Maya Khlobystina
(The drawings of the Children's Studio of the Mariinsky Theatre artistes and Little History of Art project participants were used to create the production design)
Lighting Designer: Roman Peskov


L’Histoire du soldat (1918) is an original genre-style mix created by Stravinsky in collaboration with the librettist Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz. The plot is based on Russian folk tales (which also featured several motifs of the legend of Faust), but the creators strove to give it true world significance and present it as a parable. This parable, however, was not entirely devoid of topical and autobiographical character; the composer admitted that, like the hero of his work, he was “left with nothing, in a foreign land, at the very height of the war.”
The circumstances of the war years affected not just the themes of L’Histoire but its performers as well. The piece, which was conceived as a production for a small travelling company, was to be chamber in terms of its nature; just four characters and a unique orchestra of “a handful of instruments” including the main orchestral sections plus percussion. Seeing the orchestra as an ensemble of soloists, Stravinsky personified the timbres: the violin – the object of victory in the battle – embodies the soldier’s soul while the drum embodies the Devil. The environment that is alien to the Russian soldier is represented by “foreign” dances (the tango, waltz and ragtime) and Spanish and German genres (marcha pasodoble and chorale). L’Histoire includes numerous sound associations with the concerts of renowned New Orleans jazz bands, recordings of which Stravinsky so greatly admired.


The concert has no interval

Age category 6+

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The highlighting of performances by age represents recommendations.

This highlighting is being used in accordance with Federal Law N139-FZ dated 28 July 2012 “On the introduction of changes to the Federal Law ‘On the protection of children from information that may be harmful to their health and development’ and other legislative acts of the Russian Federation.”