Correspondence between Igor Stravinsky and Charles Ferdinand Ramuz


This article introduces the Igor Stravinsky’s correspondence with an outstanding Swiss writer of the first half of the 20th century, Charles Ferdinand Ramuz. 42 letters accompanying with detailed scientific commentaries are published for the first time in Russian: the translation was made by art critic and linguist Vadim Klevayev in the 1970s at the initiative of conductor Igor Blazhkov. The French originals of Stravinsky’s letters were published in the collection of Gilbert Guisan “C.-F. Ramuz, ses amis et son temps” (1967–1970), the letters of Ramuz — in a two-volume edition of his epistolary heritage printed in Switzerland more than half a century ago (1956, 1959). The correspondence was translated into English by Robert Kraft in the third volume of “Stravinsky: Selected Correspondence” (1985). The mentioned editions are currently a bibliographic rarity, in addition, in the presentation of R. Kraft, a number of epistolary documents contain significant discrepancies with originals. The correspondence spanning 17 years (1918–1935) intermittently, provides a new look at the creative and friendly relationship between the Russian composer and the Swiss writer. In the musical world C.-F. Ramuz is known primarily as an author of French translations of neo-folklore works by Stravinsky, but the main result of their collaboration became “The Soldier’s Tale” / “Histoire du soldat” (1918). It is “The Soldier” that forms the central subject of the epistolary dialogue between the two masters at the different time phases — from the composition of the work “to be read, played, and danced”, its preparation for the premiere and publication — to the struggle for other productions and discussion of the film adaptation project. Correspondence rich in facts highlights the universal role of Ramuz in the history of “The Soldier”, far from being limited to the creation of a French libretto for the work.


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