When an artist like Igor Stravinsky comes to town, you’re not likely to forget – even 50 years later.
Stravinsky was 84 years-old in 1966, and regarded as perhaps the greatest composer of his day, when he was commissioned by Princeton University and Stanley Seeger to write his “Requiem Canticles.” The work was written to the memory of Seeger’s mother, Helen Buchanan Seeger, a benefactor of the university and especially the university’s music department.
Stravinsky described the piece as his “pocket requiem,” six movements spanning roughly 15 minutes. The work is sung in Latin and rendered in the composer’s later, twelve-tone idiom. It was given its debut at McCarter Theatre on October 8 of that year. It would be Stravinsky’s last major work. It was played at his own funeral in Venice in 1971.
To mark the 50th anniversary of…