Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale

This weekend I had the great pleasure of performing one of my favorite pieces of music by one of my favorite composers. The Soldier’s Tale (Histoire de Soldat) is a 1918 theatrical work “to be read, played, and danced” (“lue, jouée et dansée”) set to music by Igor Stravinsky. The libretto, which is based on a Russian folk tale, is a parable about a soldier who trades his fiddle to the devil for a book that predicts the future of the economy. The music is scored for a septet of violin, double bass, clarinet, bassoon, cornet (often played on trumpet), trombone, and percussion, and the story is told by three actors: the soldier, the devil, and a narrator, who also takes on the roles of minor characters. This concert was with the Oleander Chamber Orchestra in Wilmington, NC Saturday, January 16.