Igor Stravinsky Le Renard

Stravinsky remains one of my favorite composers. I’ve already written about his L’Histoire Du Soldat, which was a kind of “commedia dell’arte” play set to his music. After that he wrote two more pieces like this, Les Noces, and today’s piece, Le Renard.

Le Renard is what you might call a “challenging” work that requires a certain amount of concentration. For example, I wouldn’t recommend downloading it to your ipod to accompany your roller-blading.  However, it dates from around the same time as L’Histoire and was also a collaboration with C.F. Ramuz, the Swiss writer.

Stravinsky had spent summers with his family in Switzerland starting 1910, and took up residency there when the borders were closed closed at the start of WWI.  During the war, he struggled to make a living and remained there until 1920.

The play, commissioned in Switzerland during 1916, was seen as a satire of Russian army and the church.  It is based on a mediaeval Russian folktale about a rooster, ram and cat that outwit a fox. He wrote it for a small ensemble and it was novel for the time, combining acrobatic dance with operatic singing.  The role of the rooster is given to a tenor or counter tenor and his warning song is somewhat dissonant and shrill.

I like the piece, however, because Stravinsky used a cymbalom, an instrument akin to a hammered dulcimer, which is used in Eastern European and Asian music. It figures prominently in Hungarian music and whenever I hear it, something stirs deep down in my bones.  Maybe it’s my Magyar heritage.

Buy CD or Download MP3s of Stravinsky’s “Le Renard”

Wikipedia Entry for “Le Renard”


About kurtnemes
Writer and Education Professional. Specialties include Ethics, Personal Memoir, Classical music, Tai Chi, Stress Reduction, Meditation, Coping, Classical Music, Aging, Love, Joy, Compassion and Equanimity (& what interests me.)

4 Responses to Igor Stravinsky Le Renard

  1. XperDunn says:

    Trouble with the link, again, Kurt…


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