An Examination of the Neo-Classical Wind Works of Igor Stravinsky-The Octet for Winds and Concerto for Piano and Winds

Author: Lubaroff, Scott
This study asserts that Stravinsky’s Octour pour instruments a vents (1923) is pivotal within Stravinsky’s progressions in regard to orchestrational practice, instrumental choices, and compositional choices, and presents it as the point in which all of these transitions came together for the first time. After an opening discussion of Stravinsky’s early life and compositional career, it concentrates on setting up the Octet and Concerto through discussion of the years leading up to their composition. In addition to placing the two works within their context of their position and broader influence upon Stravinsky’s surrounding production, it provides a full musical analysis of the Octet, followed by comparative analysis between it and the Concerto. The analysis is predominantly centered around compositional practices and orchestrational techniques.


“…Lubaroff has contributed an invaluable new resource for conductors, historians, and those who are simply interested in the music of Igor Stravinsky. This wonderful text documents the role of Igor Stravinsky’s Octet and Concerto for Piano and Winds as pivotal works in both Stravinsky’s output and wind literature in general, and also provides excellent analytical material on each work….Lubaroff does an excellent job of winnowing down material from many sources to focus the discussion on this gradual progression in Stravinsky’s development, providing a clear basis for his assertion of the Octet’s role as the first work that in every way epitomized Stravinsky’s so-called Neo-Classic period. The section entitled ‘Transition of Form and Technique: A Look Back’, takes the reader step-by-step through these changes, examining the influence of works such as Mavra, Three Easy Pieces, and Pulcinella. As a conductor, the finest aspect of the book to me is the extensive form and analysis of the Octet. This chapter clearly examines the formal and motivic structure of the Octet, but also digs far deeper into each section of the piece….Lubaroff discusses each variation in turn and does a marvelous job of relating each variation to the original theme….Lubaroff’s conclusions are well drawn and defended and he has provided the reader with an excellent look at the role of two pivotal works by Igor Stravinsky. Not only that, he has created a document that is both scholarly and highly enjoyable to read.” – Dr. Andrew Boysen, University of New Hampshire

Table of Contents

Preface; Foreword
Introduction: Chamber Winds and the Pre-history of Stravinsky’s Octet for Winds and Concerto for Piano and Winds
1. Igor Stravinsky’s Formative Years
2. Transitional Years: From Le Sacre to the Octet (Orchestrational Choices; Transition of Form and Technique)
3. The Octet for Winds (History, Background and Inspiration; Instrumentation; Form and Analysis)
4. The Concerto for Piano and Winds (From the Octet to the Concerto; Background; Comparative and Descriptive Analysis) Conclusion: The Position of the Octet and Concerto in Modern Day Wind Performance Programs
Bibliography; Index