In 1934, Igor Stravinsky was fifty-two, a Russian expatriate living in Paris and already regarded by many as the most important composer of his generation. "Stravinsky: The Second Exile" follows Stravinsky through the remainder of his long life, which he would spend largely in the United States. These are the years during which he would compose such masterworks as "The Rake's Progress and Symphony in C", and achieve a new level of fame as a conductor and concert pianist in his own right. In this second and final volume of Stephen Walsh's acclaimed biography, the author traces and illuminates Stravinsky's increasingly complex and often agonised family life and his crucially important relationship with his associate Robert Craft. As a musicologist and critic, Walsh is able to speak with authority and wit not only about Stravinsky's life, but also about his work, expertly following the composer's musical journey from the neoclassicism of his late French and early American periods, through his early essays in serial technique, and on finally to the astonishing complexities of this protean genius's final works. Based on exhaustive research, Stephen Walsh uncovers new and controversial material, making this the second volume of the most definitive biography of the most significant and influential composer of the twentieth century.
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Random House UK