Stravinsky at the Crossroads After The Rite: Jeu de Rossignol Mecanique (August 1, 1913)


«He says that he has tried to continue the work in the older style, and that where differences are found they must be taken as the result of unconscious forces which are too strong for him». — Igor Stravinsky (1914).
Soon after the first performance of Le Sacre du printemps (May 29, 1913) at the Theatre des Champs Elysees in Paris, Stravinsky resumed work on Le rossignol [The Nightingale] — an opera that he started in 1908 but abandoned in 1910 during his working on The Rite. In 1913, he completed Le rossignol [The Nightingale] — the first performance taking place on May 26, 1914 at the Theatre de l’Opera in Paris.
Evidence that Stravinsky was mediating between the strident nature of The Rite and the mellifluous quality of passages written for The Nightingale before The Rite, is found in a definitive musical sketch (Paul Sacher Stiftung) for Jeu du rossignol mecanique [Performance of the Mechanical Nightingale] where Stravinsky wrote “Очень доволен!” [I am very satisfied!] 19 vii/1 viii 1913 [7/19(8/1)1913]. The essay will show how Stravinsky moved from sketch to score for this passage, in comparison with earlier sketches for The Nightingale some of which are interspersed with those for The Rite.

Translated  by  
Tatyana  Vereschagina