This printed score of Igor Stravinsky’s Oedipus rex published by Boosey & Hawkes was once owned and used for performances by the tenor Sir Peter Pears (1910–86).
Pears appears to have used the score for three concerts – in which he performed the role of Oedipus – details of which were noted in the score: the first two concerts were given in Cologne and Brussels on 8 October 1951 and 29 May 1952 respectively, and were conducted by Stravinsky himself (a recording was also made the night before the 1951 concert). The third performance was given at the Leeds Festival in October 1953 and was conducted by Josef Krips.
The title page of the score bears Pears’s signature as well as a signed dedication in Stravinsky’s hand which reads: ‘With my very best thanks to you and to your talent. Stravinsky. Köln Oct[ober] 8/51’. Also included with the score is a printed leaflet advertising the 1952 concert in Brussels.
Pears annotated his part with markings which give us an insight into his performing practices (and indirectly Stravinsky’s). Entries of his part are always marked with a red cross and the words are underlined or marked more prominently above his line in order to make them more visible. Dynamic markings and other performance directions have also been added as well as numbers counting the beats in certain bars for ease of performance.
The pages shown here include the title page, preliminary pages with stage directions for the work, and pages 35-44.
- Full title:
- Igor Stravinsky: Oedipus rex. Opéra-Oratorio en deux actes d'après Sophocle. Score.
- Boosey & Hawkes
- Printed music
- Igor Stravinsky
- © Boosey & Hawkes
- Usage terms
Reproduced by kind permission of the publishers: Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd.
Pears’s annotations © Britten-Pears Foundation.
Except as otherwise permitted under your national copyright law this material may not be copied or distributed further.
- Held by
- British Library
- Article by:
- Stephen Walsh
- Music for stage and screen, Musical style, Music and modernism, Music and words
Stephen Walsh discusses Neoclassicism as a concept focussing on the music of Stravinsky who extensively used this compositional ‘attitude’ in his music, becoming the most famous Neoclassicist in 20th-century music history.