From his unhappy childhood in St. Petersburg through his years in Paris and the United States, from The Nightingale
through The Owl and the Pussycat,
British writer Michael Oliver traces the life and work of Igor Stravinsky. His landmark ballet, The Rite of Spring
is thought of as a classic today, but it inspired riots at its Paris premiere in 1913. Oliver follows Stravinsky's work from juvenilia through modernism and serialism and back to tonalism in an easily accessible biography, part of the Phaidon Press Limited 20th Century Composers series. This book, which never gets too technical, makes a good start for anyone with a growing interest in Stravinsky and his music. There is a guide to his works and to other biographies in the back of the book.
'A near-ideal introduction to the composer.' (Gramophone) 'one's only regret about [Michael Oliver's] two books is that they are not longer.' (Classic CD)'As a series, Phaidon's 20th Century Composers has brought remarkable variety and a welter of information, both necessary and delightfully trivial. Intended both for the general reader and for the more enthusiatically musical...' (The Scotsman)