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IGOR STRAVINSKY LOSES HIS COOL

One pleasant spring day in Paris, the great pianist Artur Rubinstein went to visit the great composer Igor Stravinsky in his tiny music studio.

"So, did you play my Piano Rag Music in your concerts?" asked Stravinsky, hoping the great pianist had put Stravinsky's new piano piece in his programs.

Rubinstein decided to be frank, and come right out with it.

"Igor, I'm an old fashioned pianist. This music is too percussive for me."

Stravinsky bridled at the bad review, and impatiently remarked that Rubinstein did not understand the Piano Rag Music. For our readers, the Piano Rag Music is strikingly modern, angular, percussive and loud, even abrasive at times.

Then Stravinsky angrily sat down and loudly played the piece through about ten times, as Rubinstein sat and with each repetition hated the piece even more, a feeling he could not disguise to Stravinsky.

Stravinsky exploded with anger, sputtering and raging as he loudly denounced his friend and the piano.

"You think you can make the piano can sing, but that is only a romantic illusion! The piano is a utilitarian instrument meant only for percussion."

Now Rubinstein exploded.

"The public dislikes you and your music. Remember the Rite of Spring, how the orchestra was too loud? But when I play your music on the hated piano, the public loves it. It's mystery to me."

"Here, like this," said Rubinstein, sitting at the piano and playing a bit from Stravinsky's Petruschka.

Stravinsky immediately calmed down as he heard Rubinstein play his piece so wonderfully.

"How do you get that pedal effect on the bass notes?" marveled Stravinsky at Rubinstein's genius, having forgotten his tirade of only a moment ago.

A discussion of the sonic possibilities of the piano ensued, ending with Stravinsky offering to write a special arrangement of the Petruschka music for Rubinstein.

Stravinsky, too proud to apologize, and Rubinstein, too gracious to care, embraced each other and remained good friends for life.

And thus the great Igor Stravinsky lost his cool with a very dear friend.

By John Aschenbrenner Copyright 2008 Walden Pond Press All Rights Reserved

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Click here to view PIANO IS EASYClick here to view I CAN READ MUSICClick here to view THE BIG BOOK OF SONGS BY NUMBER

Click here to view THE CHRISTMAS CAROL KITClick here to view TEACH YOURSELF PIANOClick here to view EASY CLASSICAL PIANO

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Picture of Brahms playing piano.THE COMPLETE BOOK PACKAGE: ALL 6 BASIC  BOOKS  

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1. 107 page illustrated THE CHRISTMAS CAROL KIT Book with 44 songs, Play Along Audio CD, and removable stickers   

2. 120 page illustrated PIANO IS EASY Book with 50 songs, Play Along Audio CD, and removable stickers 

3. 50 page I CAN READ MUSIC Book 

4. 132 page TEACH YOURSELF PIANO STEP BY STEP Book, 56 minute DVD Video and removable stickers 

5. 141 page THE BIG BOOK OF SONGS BY NUMBER Book with 130 songs, and removable stickers 

6. 88 page EASY CLASSICAL PIANO BY NUMBER Book with 10 songs, and removable stickers, and 29 minute Play Along Audio CD 

6 BOOKS, DVD AND 3 PLAY ALONG AUDIO CDS 

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