Steve said, apparently a few years ago:
>Stravinsky - weak chamber output. His influence has waned.
'Don't know about his influence, but Stravinsky's chamber work is some
of what I find most appealing in his output. Two very favourite CDs of
his music to me are Vols VI and VII of the Sony Edition, which are both
chamber: the #6 is his chamber music proper, and the #7 is his so-called
Miniatures, which is also chamber stuff. (Regrettable, no: foolish and
perverse of Sony that one still can't buy them without having to pay for
the whole 22-CD suitcase-load -- which I once came this close to winning
in a CBC radio contest.)
What could be finer than the Sonata for 2 pianos, the septet, octet,
Tango, or the Circus Polka, even the admittedly bitty music for string
quartet? Well, really everything appeals and strikes me as fresh and
masterful and ringing with clarity. It's highly original to my ear
(compared to his confreres), always strikingly memorable, often witty
and vital, but never immature. Okay, maybe some of it's a trice
lightweight, but I can hack that. Except, that is, for the inexplicably
popular (or at least plentifully recorded) Suite Italienne, which bores
me no end.
'Can't back any of this with chapter and verse from the scores, nor
specifics as to the historical breakthroughs, but my sense is that only
Debussy, Martinu and Poulenc in his era stand alongside him in chamber
output, yet two of them learned so much from his example!
In short, I dig Stravinsky bigtime, and very much for the chamber works.
Bert B, Igorphile