Stravinsky - Oedipus Rex and Symphony of Psalms: The Masterworks Library (Boosey & Hawkes Masterworks Library) (The Boosey & Hawkes Masterworks Library)

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9780851622163: Stravinsky - Oedipus Rex and Symphony of Psalms: The Masterworks Library (Boosey & Hawkes Masterworks Library) (The Boosey & Hawkes Masterworks Library)
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Oedipus Rex and Symphony of Psalms are two of Stravinsky's most important works on Latin texts.

Oedipus Rex is a rare example of the use of Latin in a modern musical drama. Based on Sophocles, the text was written by Jean Cocteau and translated into Latin. The work is a notable example of "opera-oratorio," a music drama suitable for presentation with minimal staging in a theater, concert hall, or church.

The Symphony of Psalms bears little relation to traditional symphonic form and the chorus and orchestra are of roughly equal strength. The work grows from the first movement ("Hear My Prayer"), a plea of human supplication over a bass ostinato. From this is derived the material for the second movement which opens with an almost Bachian instrumental fugue. A broader choral fugue follows with instrumental accompaniment and finally the two fugues are combined. The resulting "New Song" is the slow, seraphic "Alleluia" that opens the final movement. After an extended Allegro of thanksgiving, the final section unfolds a majestic coda over a hypnotically slow ostinato bass - one of the finest of all Stravinsky's "apotheosis" endings, the act of praise fixed in music with timeless immobility.

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