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Transcript of Soldier's Tale
Composed in 1918 as a "theatrical" work to be "read, played, and danced"
L'Histoire du soldat
Full Production (1918):
(The Soldier's Tale)
by Igor Stravinsky
The libretto (words to the story) is based on a Russin folk tale collected by Alexander Afanasiev in his collected 'soldier stories' from peasant recruits of the Russo-Truckish War (1827-1829) and written in French by Swiss writer C. F. Ramuz.
It's a parable about a soldier who trades his fiddle to the devils for a book that predicts the future of the economy.
three actors: the soldier, the devil, and a narrator
clarinet, violin and piano
bass drum small drum with snares
side drum with snares triangle
two side drums without snares (different sizes)
Set-up approximates a drumset, but a pedal bass drum is NOT acceptable in the piece (letter to Robert Craft, October 7, 1947)
Bass drum calls for different timbrel effects not possible on the pedal bass drum
Stravinsky was so interested in the percussion writing of this piece that he purchased his own set of percussion instruments in Lausanne and learned to play them
This is an excerpt of the percussion part from the "Tango." It includes a piano reduction of the full score.
And an excerpt from the original L'Histoire du soldat percussion part - the first page of the "Soldier's March."
L'HISTOIRE DU SOLDAT
Histoire du soldat - Stravinsky, ed. Frank Epstein
Percussion Editions available:
Histoire du soldat - Stravinsky, ed. William Kraft
Kraft was a percussionist in the LA Phil for 26 years, a composer and composition teacher, and recorded Histoire under Stravinsky's direction
Epstein is a percussionist with the BSO (since 1968), a member of the Tanglewood Music Center, and chairman of the Percussion and Brass departments at the NEC.