Igor Stravinsky's Life in France

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Date Submitted: 11/14/2012 12:56 PM

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Stravinsky moved with his family to France in 1920,[26] He formed a business and musical relationship with the French piano manufacturing company Pleyel. Pleyel essentially acted as his agent in collecting mechanical royalties for his works and provided him with a monthly income and a studio space at its headquarters in which he could work and entertain friends and business acquaintances.[27] Under the terms of his contract with the company, Stravinsky agreed to arrange (and to some extent re-compose) many of his early works for the Pleyela, Pleyel's brand of player piano.[28] He did so in a way that made full use of all of the piano's eighty-eight notes, without regard for human fingers or hands. The rolls were not recorded, but were instead marked up from a combination of manuscript fragments and handwritten notes by Jacques Larmanjat, musical director of Pleyel's roll department. Among the compositions that were issued on the Pleyela piano rolls are The Rite of Spring, Petrushka, The Firebird and Song of the Nightingale. During the 1920s, Stravinsky recorded Duo-Art rolls for the Aeolian Company in both London and New York, not all of which have survived.[29]

Patronage was never far away. In the early 1920s, Leopold Stokowski gave Stravinsky regular support through a pseudonymous 'benefactor'.[30] The composer was also able to attract commissions: most of his work from The Firebird onwards was written for specific occasions and was paid for generously.[citation needed]

Vera Stravinsky

Stravinsky met Vera de Bosset in Paris in February 1921,[31] when she was married to the painter and stage designer Serge Sudeikin, and they began an affair which led to Vera leaving her husband.[32] From then until his wife's death in 1939, Stravinsky led a double life, spending some time with his first family and the rest with Vera.[33] Stravinsky's wife reportedly bore her husband's infidelity "with a mixture of magnaminity, bitterness, and compassion".[34]

After living...