Words of Wisdom:

"American cars fall apart faster than russian buildings" - Rumesa

Igor Stravinsky

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 06:28 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 38.7 
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In the passage by Igor Stravinsky, he uses not only comparison and contrast, but also language to convey his point of view about the conductors of the time and their extreme egotism.   Stravinsky believes that conductors exploit the music for their own personal gain, so rather, he looks on them in a negative light.


        To show his aggravation and irritation, Stravinsky uses the rhetorical device of comparison and contrast to convey his opinion of conductors.   He compares the "great" conductors to "great" actors in that "[they] are unable to play anything but themselves".   Moreover, being unable to adapt, they have to adapt the work to themselves, not themselves to the work, which is obviously offending to a notable composer such as Stravinsky.   In addition, he attributes the egocentric view of the conductors to the attention of the public who make more of the conductor's gestures and appearance than the music quality.   The public is then compared to the reviewers and critics, who also "habitually fall into the trap of describing a conductor's appearance rather than the way he makes the music sound."   Furthermore, Stravinsky goes on to say, for a public that is incapable of listening, the conductor will tell them what to feel through his gestures.   He notes that these people, the conductors, have a high incidence of "ego disease" which "grows like a the sun of a tropical weed under pandering public" illustrating that the conductors perform for and are inspired by the public not the music.   Because of the conductor's motives, composers, such as Stravinsky, are justified in having a negative response toward "great" conductors; fore the composer has toiled over the music which was made to stand alone for inspiration, not with the accompaniment of the composer's "corybantics".   This contrasts the motives of the composer and the conductor, which should be to keep the integrity of the piece of music, but as mentioned above, Stravinsky believes that the...

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