Monday, July 31, 2017

Nobody Likes Robert Craft

(we have all seen the left edge of this photo with Rimsky-Korsakov but his parents & 
Catherine were also there.  Thank you Maria Stravinsky for your generosity.)

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.

In 2009 I tried to download THe Rite as a ringtone from TMobile - the composer was Robert Craft.

There are lots of little interview clips on YouTube with the Maestro in his older years, the ever present Buzzard, interjecting here, interjecting there, making fun of him in the booth in the Koenig film 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.  Have you not made enough money off of him?  Must you pick the bones of the skeleton?  You had to make public something that was - if true - kept quiet for a reason.  What a dick.

I was going to write about Craft and the rights he took from Stravinsky and the literal re-writing of history in that Coco and Igor nonsense by refusing the Nijinsky choreography and using one from 6 years LATER 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.I will say no more because Craft had his filthy fingers in that movie and it was inaccurate melodrama. 

It is a known thing that he loved his first wife 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 de Bosset , feel the same way and expect Catherine to acquiesce  to this relationship as well and even have a friendship with her.  I think she did and when she died it was all very nice I suppose. Craft conspicuously made little to no reference about Catherine in his Stravinsky bio - how well DID he know the man? Family and Foundation preserved letters between Igor and Catherine which confirm this intimacy.   When you watch video of the Igor and Vera, they are very much in love and it is quite sweet so one can imagine it was the same with Catherine.  Craft knew music, oh yes, that he knew but how much more did he know about his prey?  Ok, I am getting dramatic.

Where Stravinsky disliked 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 but 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 (or Koenig?) Stravinsky having a scotch out of one glass in a dump apartment with Nabakov (not that one) is too endearing. You love him.

Janos Darvas' documentary as well as Koenig/Kroiter's are MUST steals.  They are emotional and funny and the end is, of course,  set to the finale of The Firebird.  You can go watch the film if you like - it is on my channel in a couple of pieces.  I am cautious.

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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