Tuesday, December 21, 2010


An American producer had commissioned Igor Stravinsky to compose a ballet. After the opening in Philadelphia, the producer sent Stravinsky a telegram which read: Your music great success Stop Could be sensational success if you would authorize Robert Russell Bennett retouch orchestration Stop Bennett orchestrates even the works of Cole Porter Stop. Stravinsky wired back: Satisfied with great success Stop.


  1. Sensitivity and (or) proud. "Men take only their needs into consideration - never their abilities." (Napoleon)
    If they consider their ability, they consider also their will.

    Which ballet was that?

  2. “Your music is great success”. How often artists must have been heard this contaminated praise. Part of the job? Anyway in other professions this isn´t as perfidiously as it is in the arts.
    I currently read the diary of Fritz Raddatz, who portrays his encounters with Germany´s intellectual vips of the past. I never liked his self-important and pompous appearance and work. But now it is quite interesting to hearing his assessments, which he never would have told directly to those people.

    The ballet is „Scènes de ballet“. Apparently (internet) very rarely played. His masterpiece is Sacre du Printemps (which I don´t like).

  3. @cs

    Thank you for the information! I obviously like Le Sacre du Printemps very much, as I like Oedipus Rex, especially the japanes DVD by... don't remember. And I like that you read books written by people you do not like, since I have been reading books written by "my enemies" for more than 20 years.

    This now seems that I have read a lot of books, doesn't it? No, not so many. I am a very slow reader, and sometimes I read something more than once, even if I disagree. Especially if I do not know yet, whether I agree or not. For example Claude Levy-Strauss's "Race and History", I read that book four times!! And every time I added my personal foot-notes... I should have used a different colour every time!

  4. Mentioning Strawisky's Sacre you have touched a theme which puts me in front of great difficulties. I understand the fresh violence of spring, and I understand also the immediate association with the dangers of sex for human beings, especially the newly born babies in times, when the anti baby pill didn't exist. So I understand the holyness of virgins, that this holyness had to be celibrated, for example through the chastity of the Vestals (who were buried alive, if they did break the taboo! And had in exchange great privileges in the roman society). And I understand that creativity in such a rigid context, which is like a cast for the healing of a broken bone - and this mythological "backbone" is a realistic counterweight to the weight of nature's imperfection in social life - must always be violent, like the pregnancy of Rea Silvia (inseminated by the spring god Mars himself).

    Yet I am aghast in front of the male unselfconsciousness which imagines the sacrifice of a virgin in order to exorcise the power of sex. As I am aghast in front of the marrow which is at the center of the Meistersinger. In both cases one can understand that Maria was, remained and had to remain a virgin and had to be adored as this, in order to protect young women by elder men and those by theirselves.