Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Nobody Likes Robert Craft (ode to Stravinsky)

Robert Craft is an asshole. He was the vulture who ingratiated himself into the Maestro's later life and to watch it on video it is nothing short of predatory. 

BOOM.  Yeah, thought I would just come out with it.

I am serious, though. Try to download The Firebird or Le Sacre du Printemps as a ringtone from TMobile. Look who the composer is: Robert Craft!!

There are lots of little interview clips on YouTube with the Maestro in has older years, the ever present Buzzard, interjecting here, interjecting there and actually speaking FOR Stravinsky in places.  Then in 2013 - against him.

In 2013 Craft came out with the tales of Stravinsky having homosexual lovers.  Really.  You are still trying to make a buck off his name?  The rights to his music wasn't enough? You had to make public something that was - if true - kept quiet for a reason.  God.  He is an ASSHOLE.

I was going to write about Craft and the rights he took from Stravinsky and the drama he caused on the set of that Coco and Igor debacle and the division he caused with the Maestro's children...but I think I would rather write about Stravinsky.

 OH...the Coco and Igor movie:  yes there was an affair in 1913-ish with Coco Chanel and Stravinsky brought his wife and kids along for it, which took place in Coco's house, something the Stravinsky's were in dire need of as the maestro was seriously strapped at the time.  Catherine submitted quietly to Igor.  But it went both ways.  In the midst of his arrogance and insensitivity, he was almost lost without her.

It is a known thing that he loved Catherine and respected her artistically - he would  consult with her on everything he wrote and would not play it until she approved as she had a deep understanding of the young musician's work.

 (Igor and Catherine, circa 1906)

Fifteen years later Stravinsky would meet Vera Sudeikina and expect Catherine to acquiesce AGAIN to this relationship and even have a friendship with Sudeikina.  I don't know how it ended.  Stravinsky mentions Catherine very little in his autobiography (1935) but letters between them confirm this intimacy.  He would have this same relationship with Vera Sudeikina.  When you watch video of the two, they are very much in love and it is quite sweet.  Oh and you will see Robert Craft right up his arse:

Where Stravinsky despised Nijinsky - actually he was indifferent - he would later go on to compliment his choreography in 1960 (in the Russian way which is barely at all). Men tend to soften as they age, artists become humble, the hopelessly arrogant usually die early.

And Stravinsky was arrogant as a young genius!! The accolades came fast and furious in 1914 and he was too young and Russian to show humility.  As he aged he became very approachable, self-effacing, welcoming...happy.  In Darvas' documentary, Stravinsky having tea with - shit - is it Cocteau? - well, he is so simple and kind.  It makes you sort of love him.

THis is the final clip of Janos Darvas' documentary, emotional and of course set to the finale of The Firebird.  You can go watch it if you like.  I watched it too much.

The pas de deux in Scenes de ballet is one of my favorite pieces.  It actually brings me to tears.  So I made a little clip piece of Stravinsky set against it. 

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