Friday, December 2, 2011

The Genesis of the United Nations - and Stravinsky...

Dumbarton Oaks was a glorious estate owned by a gentleman named Robert Bliss and his wife, in the Washington, D.C. area. In celebration of their 30th anniversary, the legendary composer Igor Stravinsky was commissioned to write a work , which he wrote not for orchestra, but an ensemble. This work, not very well known except to Stravinsky's followers, was ultimately titled "Dumbarton Oaks Concerto," even though the work is obviously not in the concerto form. It was begun in 1937 and completed in the following year, during which its premiere took place.
What may be of interest to the reader is that the very same location was the site of the so-called Dumbarton Oaks Conference, which took place in 1944.
This conference dealt with the question of the need to establish an international council that would be created to confront the reality of inevitable war, and how to crush this inevitability.
It was, in other words, the first step taken on a journey that resulted in the United Nations.
That goal to eradicate War has, sadly, fallen short, as we all know too well.
But the music which bears the title of the location of that first step still exists.
Why not listen to this rarely performed piece by one of the 20th century's most powerful composers?



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