Volume 12, Number 3, October 2006
Copyright © 2006 Society for Music Theory

“Who’s on First?”: Response to David H. Smyth’s review of Stravinsky’s Histoire du soldat: A Facsimile of the Sketches, edited by Maureen A. Carr (Middleton, Wisconsin: A-R Editions, 2005)

Dr. Maureen A. Carr


REFERENCE: http://www.mtosmt.org/issues/mto.06.12.2/mto.06.12.2.smyth.php

Received October 2006

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[1] David H. Smyth’s review of my Facsimile Edition of the Sketches for Stravinsky’s Histoire du soldat is written in such a way that it is often difficult for the reader to determine what Carr said and what Smyth said about the identification and description of specific sketch pages pertaining to Histoire—hence the title “Who’s on First?”(1) 

[2] Many of the points raised by Smyth could benefit from further discussion, but I will save that for another occasion. In this brief response I wish to express some clear and distinct ideas that should clarify and correct some of the larger issues having to do with Smyth’s review: the Chester edition of 1987, the fragment in Ramuz’s hand at the Stravinsky Archive of the Paul Sacher Stiftung, the manuscript of the Conductor’s Score at the Rychenberg Stiftung of the Stadtbibliothek Winterthur, the nature of the copyist’s score that is lost in the publisher’s warehouse, the Croquis, the ordering of sketches within certain Groups, the Winterthur Sketchbook, and the incipit for Fig. 3.7 that is likely to be the earliest sketch for the Grand Choral:(2) 

  • [par. 1] The Chester publication of 1987 is an edition and not a reprint (Stravinsky 1987).
     
  • [par. 3] The three page fragment at the Paul Sacher Stiftung is not a copy of the three page synopsis in the Ramuz Inventory (04/015/001/-3, 3 pages) at the Centre de recherches sur les letters romandes (CRLR), Université de Lausanne. Alain Rochat of the CRLR has identified the three page document in Basel as a copy of the part of the King from the fourth version of Ramuz’s text (finished on May 20) that eventually disappeared before Ramuz started the fifth and final version of the text (after July 19).For more information about the role of the King before it was cut, see Alain Rochat’s essay in the facsimile on page 29 in French “L’évolution du texte de Ramuz” or on pages 34–35 in English “The Evolution of Ramuz’s text.”
     
  • [par. 5] The manuscript of the Conductor’s score at the Rychenberg Stiftung was used by Scherchen and Stravinsky until the Chester score was published, although it is possible that the manuscript of the copyist’s score that is lost might have been used as a spare copy for conductors. Until this manuscript surfaces, it is impossible to know for sure.
     
  • [par. 5] The possibility exists that the Conductor’s score is in Catherine Stravinsky’s hand. Although Igor Stravinsky wrote to the copyist Jules Piotton of Geneva on 18/I/19 requesting that he prepare a piano reduction of Histoire and again on 28/I/19 requesting that he prepare parts for the Violin and Clarinet for the Trio (Histoire) there is no evidence that Piotton was involved in copying manuscripts for Histoire before 18/I/19. (These letters from Stravinsky to Piotton are at the Bibliothèque publique et universitaire in Geneva.)
     
  • [par. 7] No evidence exists to suggest that the sketches in Group One were kept in one or more binders. The ordering of sketches within Groups One and Two that I adopted is the existing order established at the Stravinsky Archive of the Paul Sacher Stiftung.
     
  • [par. 9] The Croquis (Group Three) appears to be in its original binding.
     
  • [par. 10] The pages of the Winterthur Sketchbook appear not to have been reordered based on a careful study of the gatherings. The pages that were given to Eugenia Errazuriz were simply removed from the notebook. The fact that Stravinsky drew a picture of René Auberjonois (Fig. 4.85 - on the recto side of a page at the end of the notebook) and wrote 1917 is not proof that this page is in a different sequence than it was originally.
     
  • Example 1. Harmonic fragment from Figure 3.7 Хорал “Chorale” cyrillic for “Chorale” in Stravinsky’s hand

    Example 1 thumbnail

    (click to enlarge)

  • [par. 9] A transcription of the harmonic fragment that is likely to be the earliest sketch for the “Grand Choral” and that was not visible in Fig. 3.7 on page 163 is provided in this response. The original sketch is very faint because of the quality of the paper that Stravinsky used. Please see the following musical example.
     
  • [par. 6] A concordance of the catalogs of the Paul Sacher Stiftung or the Rychenberg Stiftung might have been useful, but in my perspective it is not indispensable for the purpose of this facsimile.

[3] Until the copyist’s manuscript surfaces with annotations by Stravinsky and others, many questions will remain unanswered. In the meantime, at least one page of the copyist’s score is reprinted on page ii of the 1987 edition, published by Chester Music (CH 55726).

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Dr. Maureen A. Carr
Professor of Music Theory
School of Music
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA
(On sabbatical in Basel, Switzerland)

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Works Cited

Stravinsky, Igor. 1987. Histoire du soldat, ed. John Carewe, Percussion part transcribed and edited by James Blades. Chester Music. CH 55726.

Stravinsky, Igor. 1987. Histoire du soldat, ed. John Carewe, Percussion part transcribed and edited by James Blades. Chester Music. CH 55726.

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Footnotes

1. Here I am not referring to points in the Commentary that were cited by Smyth but to the identification and description of specific sketch pages pertaining to Histoire that were not always clearly referenced by Smyth as to what Carr said. For example, please see Smyth’s [par. 14] discussion of Group 8 and compare it to Carr [Table One: (p. 88)—comparison between Fig. 8.1 and Fig. 5.7 and repeated in Table Two (p. 327)]
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2. Bracketed numbers refer to the paragraph numbers in Smyth’s review.
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Here I am not referring to points in the Commentary that were cited by Smyth but to the identification and description of specific sketch pages pertaining to Histoire that were not always clearly referenced by Smyth as to what Carr said. For example, please see Smyth’s [par. 14] discussion of Group 8 and compare it to Carr [Table One: (p. 88)—comparison between Fig. 8.1 and Fig. 5.7 and repeated in Table Two (p. 327)]
Bracketed numbers refer to the paragraph numbers in Smyth’s review.
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