Elegical chant in three parts – Ode. Elegischer Gesang in drei Teilen (Triptychon für Orchester) – Ode. Chant Élégiaque en trois parties – Ode. Canto elegiaco in tre movimenti per orchestra
Scored for: a) First edition*: Flauto piccolo (poi Flauto grande 3),  Flauti grandi,  Oboi,  Clarinetti in Si b,  Fagotti,  Corni in F,  Trombe in Si b, Timpani, Violino1, Violino 2, Viola, Violoncello, Contrabasso [Piccolo Flute (doubling 2nd Flute,  Flutes,  Oboes,  Clarinets in B flat,  Bassoons,  Horns in F,  Trumpets in B flat, Timpani, Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, Violoncello, Bass]; b) Performance requirements: Piccolo Flute (doubling 2nd Flute), 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets in B b, 2 Bassoons, 4 Horns in F, 2 Trumpets in B b**, Timpani, 3 Solo Violins, 3 Solo Violas, 1 Solo Violoncello, Violins I***, Violins II***, Violas****, Violoncellos, Basses****.
* Without front matter list.
** The 2nd Trumpet is only used in bars 1, 3, 5 and 7 of the first movement; after figure 38, the 1st trumpet changes transposition into C.
*** Divided in three.
**** Divided in two.
Construction: The Ode is a three-movement orchestral work with Roman numerals for the movements, English titles for the individual movements and Italian performance markings.
(36 bars = figure 31 up to the end of figure 10 4)
Lento [without accidental] Crotchet = 50 quaver = 100 (6 bars = figure 31 up to the end of figure 1 3)
[accidental 3 b] (30 bars = figure 2 up to the end of figure 10; poco allarg. at figure 10 1, a tempo at figure 10 2)
(124 Bars = figure 611 bis Ende figure 34 4)
Con moto [without accidental] dotted crotchet = 92 (without upbeats 51 bars = figure 611 up to the end of figure 19)
[accidental 1 sharp] (21 bars figure 20 up to figure 24 1)
[without accidental] (9 bars = figure 24 2bis 26 1)
[accidental 2 b] (43 bars = figure 26 2up to the end of figure 34)
(without upbeat 62 bars = figure 435 up to the end of figure 46 5)
Lento Crotchet = 46 (without upbeats 27 bars = figure 435 up to the end of figure 39)
Poco più mosso 2 Quaver = 3 quaver = quaver = 152 (35 bars = figure 40 up to the end of figure 46)
Corrections: Strawinsky did not hear the Ode in its première in the concert hall, rather in Koussevitsky’s radio broadcast in Boston. He followed along with the score and discovered new errors shortly before the end of the work (letter to Arthur Mendel of 12th October 1943 (a Tuesday)) and a short time later, another at figure 10 (letter to Mendel of 10th December 1943). Koussevitsky’s performance and radio broadcast were therefore based on incorrect orchestral material. Strawinsky was honest enough, at least with the first set of errors, to admit fault himself and to send corrected material to the publishers. In the letters, the relevant points could only be conveyed using the descriptions and figures and not using page numbers, because these are different in later printed editions. In any case, page 23 in the autograph contained three systems of 6 bars each. Koussevitsky did not play the second and third systems consecutively but at the same time. The reason for this was an error by the copyist which Strawinsky had overlooked in his corrections. The second and third systems were laid out in similar proportions and appeared so closely on top of each other that the copyist connected the bar-lines between the two and thus joined the two systems together to be played at the same time. Strawinsky described his overlooking of this error as unforgiveable, sent a new copy and re-adjusted the new positions of the figures and pages accordingly. The moment in question must be at 6 bars before figure 43 2-7and the first six of the seven bars of figure 44, because only this moment fulfils the requisite characteristics. Figure 43 is written exclusively for woodwinds: 2 oboes, 1 clarinet and 3 horns, while figure 44 is only written for timpani and strings. If these two sections are placed exactly on top of one another and close together, then they come together into one unit of winds and strings. The second error, which was discovered later, is the clarinet moment at figure 10 2-3. The two B-flat clarinets play identical notes but with different characterization, as is typical for Strawinsky. The 1st clarinet plays its phrase tied in legato while the 2nd plays staccato against it. The sharp signs were evidently forgotten for the C and F in the 2nd clarinet part, which must have led to the two clarinets play a semitone apart on the C and F. Since each clarinet part has 30 notes to play and 14 notes were affected by the missing sharps, this moment in the broadcast must have sounded awful to Strawinsky, as the clarinet parts being different for practically every other note; he hurriedly corrected this matter before the imminent print-run. Strawinsky later described the première with the English word ‘catastrophical’, since, in addition to the objective errors in the score and those by the copyists, there was an oversight by the 1st trumpet who, instead of playing the part on the prescribed B-flat trumpet, played it on a C trumpet, thus playing every note a tone higher than it should have been. Including the playing and copyists’ errors, of the 222 bars in the entire piece (excluding upbeats), there were 50 bars played incorrectly at the première. – In addition to his ‘catastrophical’ comment, which he made in an article on 24th June 1962* for the Observer on good, bad and unspeakably bad conductors, Strawinsky went on to make the even more cutting statement that his Ode ended in a ‘cacophony’ at the première; this would have been suited to inspire a new level of appreciation in Darmstadt. When Koussevitsky heard the correct version of the Ode, he noted the harmonic changes which had been made but expressed no suspicion retrospectively as to their cause. Years later, he even confided in Strawinsky (according to Strawinsky) that he preferred the “original version”. He had obviously not registered the fact that there had been mistakes and assumed that the correction of the errors were a revision of the composition, revision being something that was not uncommon for Strawinsky. Strawinsky on the other hand, who refrained from making any comment on Koussevitsky, used this statement to suggest that Koussevitsky’s conducting his works, with all possible goodwill, did not come up to the standard of other conductors of his works.
* Serge Koussevitsky has been died in Boston on the 4 June 1951.
Corrections / Errata*
Pocket score 66-1
according to Strawinsky
1.) p. 10, figure 19 1, 1. Violin: 1. note semiquaver ligature b1 has to be marked with down-bow-sign.
2.) p. 10, figure 19 1, 2. Violin: 1. note semiquaver ligature b instead of b b.
3.) p. 16, figure 28 2, 1. Violin: quaver a b 1 instead of a.
4.) p. 16, figure 28 3, 1./2. Clarinet: 2. quaver two-note chord a b-d1 instead of a-d1.
5.) p. 20, figure 35 3-4, 1./2. Horn: both notes of the two-note-chord at the end of the bar 35 3(quavers b b 1-d b 2) have to be linked by a slur to the first notes of the following bar, which have to be read as crotchet b b 1-d b 2 instead of crotchet b1-d2.
6.) p. 22, figure 38 2, Horns: quaver two-note chord c1-a b 1 instead of d b 1-h1; the chord has to be tied to the previous identical chord (figure 38 1= p. 21).
7.) p. 22, figure 38 3-4, Violins: both violins are divided in three, the third of each has to be read octave-transposed down.
8.) p. 22, figure 38 5, Horns: both the two-note-chords have to be read c1-a b 1 instead of c1-a1 and have to be tied to the two-note-chord at figure 38 4.
9.) p. 23, figure 40 2-3, Flutes and Clarinets: the  phrase marks have to be removed.
A leaflet to Nabokov:
1.) 2. bar after figure 5, 1. Violins: 2. note >is a >B (natural)<°
2.) figure 39, Trumpet in C: >Trumpet: in 39 must be changed in C and not remain in B (flat)< >not remained Bb<°°
3.) figure 43, 7 bars only Oboes, Clarinets and Horns°
4.) figure 44, 7 bars only Strings and Timpani°
° Pocket score corrected.
°° Pocket score not corrected.
Leaflet with annotations on the left edge: >Cl. Bb 2° figure 10 2 d& 3 dmes. / all the C are # } / all the F are # } i. e. with / Cl. 1 st< Leaflet with annotations on the right edge: >page 21 : 1 stline must be/ Fl. Picc. Instead / of Fl. Gr. 2<.
An additional leaflet, but without side note, below four-line-notice in Russian with an address in English.
Style: The Ode embodies a perfected neo-Classicism with a strongly free sense of tonality and a considerable emotional impact, as well as a distinctive melodic line, especially in the first movement. To characterize it as a mournful and contemplative piece is difficult due to the nature of the middle movement, which has pictorial, even film-like hunting motifs which depict the scene. Movements one and three are, however, static and still. The work must be seen as a free homage to his dead friend. This is presumable why Strawinsky chose the neutral title Ode and its subtitles. In the classical sense, the word ‘Ode’, originally derived from the Greek word ὠδή (song), means an inward-looking verse work referring back to Man and is different to a Hymn, which is aimed at the Higher, the Transcendent and the Sublime. –
The Eulogy ( εὐλογία, from the Greek word εὐλογεῖν = meaning ‘to bless’) is, syntactically speaking, the object of the blessing as well as the blessing itself. Even until the High Middle Ages, this was understood to be the Blessing of the Bread during the Celebration of Eucharist. This later became the rhetorical term ‘euloge’ in the sense of a panegyric, which is what is meant by the English word ‘eulogy’. Such a theologically learned man as Strawinsky obviously saw this religious context when he named the first section of the ‘Ode to the memory of Koussevitsky’. This is certainly a direct reference to Natalie Koussevitsky. The work begins with the same process of separate blocks of alternating chords between winds and strings that he later re-used in his memorial music In Memoriam Dylan Thomas , which forms a form of orchestral introduction for 6 bars in the Ode . The score is transposed with 3 flats to E flat/ [from] C and the viola melody would, over a different harmonization, fit into the Tchaikovskian overtones of the Fairy’s Kiss ; it is stated at length and then developed in the Classical sense, something which should certainly be seen as an homage of a Russian man to a Russian lady. Regarding Strawinsky’s strongly picturesque ideas which are often in exclusively instrumental scenes, he may have envisioned the consecration of his church which was carried out at an open tomb. The sense of the first section is therefore clear with regard to its sad and death-related context. –
That becomes more difficult to understand for the second section, not simply because we now know of the situation surrounding the composition. Strawinsky named it ‘Eclogue’, staying with the formal speech of the Renaissance and Baroque. The word ‘Eclogue’ comes from the Greek ἐκλογή, meaning ‘selection’ (in the late Greece and the New Testament also the Chosen). In rhetorical terms, this becomes a name of a genre for an idyll. Strawinsky regarded an analogy of thought, Shepherds-Field-Beast-Hunt, appropriate and he wanted to clothe his scene in the antique clothing of a musical homage. He had in any case written a good piece of hunting music for a film by Orson Welles, a project which had not been seen through at the time and was later abandoned. This was something which from experience annoyed him greatly and explains his later caution in essentially never starting a work on a piece without a contract. The Koussevitsky commission was Strawinsky’s next opportunity to re-use this composition that had already been written with the side effect not to have vasted time and being able to deliver the piece to Koussevitsky earlier than exspected, especially since the period of time until the planned première was not particularly generous. Those who did not knew the background to the composition wanted to find a programmatic meaning ina hunting scene with its galloping rhythms and with its horn calls and fugato passages, as they may have imagined: Natalie Koussevitsky was leading a happy life but was haunted by the weight of her everyday worries or whatever other hermeneutical possibilities could be thought up. –
The title ‘Epitaph’ (from the Greek ἐπιτάφιοςmeaning ‘connected with burial’, combined with λόγος [logos] meaning a burial speech or speech over a body. This in turn is combined with ἀγών [agon*] , a ceremony for a body as well as burial games in honour of someone) finally came to mean an architectonic memorial in European current language, but previously meant the inscription on a gravestone. Strawinsky’s epitaph for Natalia Koussevitsky is in two sections and is, in terms of time, the most extensive movement of the Ode. The 27 bars of the first part (which is without a title) are constructed statically over an ostinato central note, A, representing the image of an inscribed memorial stone. In the second part, the music takes up the process of alternation which is characteristic of Strawinsky’s funeral music between differently orchestrated musical blocks. The high flutes may suggest the high voice of a mourner singing vowels in a mourning song. The static memorial character remains throughout. One can well understand Strawinsky’s annoyance about himself at the error in his copyist’s corrections who placed the blocks on top of one another so that at one of the most important moments in the Ode, which realizes the funereal character in his conception was destroyed. Whether slight resemblance with his wind pieces, which were dedicated to Debussy, are genuine reminiscences or not may remain unresolved. Fact is that the widower Koussevitsky premièred them in Debussy’s memory at the time.
* Pronunciation see K88.
Dedication: > Dedicated in the memory of Natalie Koussevitzky<.
Duration: approximately 3' 27" + 2' 50" + 4' 00" [according to Strawinsky I = 3:48, II = 2:37, III = 3:38 (10:03)].
Date of origin: 1943 in Hollywood, completed by 25th June 1943 at the latest; three sketches of the Eulogy are dated: 12th February 1943, 1st June 1943 and 25th June 1943.
First performance: The première took place on 8th October 1943 in Boston with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Serge Koussevitsky; curiously, there is a letter from Strawinsky to Arthur Mendel (also Associated Music Publishers) of 12th October 1943 in which he discusses, in relation to errors in the third movement of the Ode, a performance on Boston radio under Koussevitsky which he had heard on 3rd October (October 3rd was a Sunday). There is another letter by him to Hugo Winter dated 16th October 1943 in which he mentions a radio broadcast by Koussevitsky ‘last Saturday’ for which thanked Koussevitsky with a telegram. The 16th October 1943 is the next Saturday after 8th of October.
Remarks: In 1942, Strawinsky was sought out for a commission in connection with a project by Orson Welles and was engaged to write music to the film Jane Eyre. Strawinsky was so taken with the book that he first of all composed a piece for the hunting scene in the film which later, when the film project had collapsed appeared as the second part of the Ode; this work was written to the memory of Natalia Koussevitsky at Koussevitsky’s commission. Natalia Koussevitsky, who had made an outstanding commitment to new music and to Strawinsky’s music in particular, had died in Brookline (Norfolk County, Massachusetts, USA) in January 1942. Née Ushkova and daughter of the Russian millionaire Konstantin Ushkov, she was born October 1, 1880, in Nowgorod and came from a rich Russian family of tea traders. Together with her husband (she was his second wife), Sergei Alexandrovitch Koussevitsky, she founded the Russian Publishing House (Edition Russe de Musique) in Berlin in 1909 with an initial capital of 500,000 Roubles; the publishing house predominantly concerned itself with modern Russian music and was the main publisher of Strawinsky’s music for 25 years. Strawinsky was greatly indebted to both the Koussevitskys. When Sergei Koussevitsky, later to be Principal Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and a commissioner of several of Strawinsky’s compositions, commissioned works from several composers for a concert in Boston to the memory of his wife, Strawinsky was one of them. As the surviving sketches demonstrate, he completed the manuscript of the work on 25th June 1943 in Hollywood.
Versions: Strawinsky corrected the errors from the première and the first broadcast in letters of 12th October and 10th December 1943. The printing took a quite some time. Strawinsky spoke with Gretl Urban on the telephone and reminded her of the agreement by Hugo Winter that the Ode would go to print immediately after the completion of the Danse Sacrale. The production process was started but by 27th June 1946, the final corrections had not been made. Strawinsky reminded Urban in a letter to her on this day with the word ‘finally’ in brackets, sounding impatient and urgent. According to the records the production of the LP took place on 5th February 1945 according to the records in New York under the auspices of a production by Goddard Lieberson for Columbia Records with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under Strawinsky. Robert Craft heard the preliminary version of it in May 1948. – The Ode was published in 1947 in an American pocket-score edition published by Associated Music Publishers in New York and Schott in London. The conducting score and parts were ever only available to hire. The contract with Associated Music Publishers was settled on 19th October 1943. Strawinsky received a fee of $500. Schott publishers in Mainz included the pocket score (study score) of the Ode in its series ‘ Musik des 20. Jahrhunderts’ in 1969 and gave it the German subtitle ‘ Triptychon für Orchester’. During Strawinsky’s lifetime Schott produced 1.000 copies (print run 3. October 1969), between his death and the end of the century, another 406 copies were printed in a further 2 editions (print runs: 18. 3. 1981: 300; 26. 2.1996: 100 [100+ 6]).
Historical recordings: New York, 5th February 1945, New York Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Igor Strawinsky; concert recording Moskow, 26th September 1962, Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire with the Symphony Orchestra of the Moscow State Philharmonic of the USSR conducted by Igor Strawinsky; Cleveland, 13th March 1964, Cleveland Orchestra conducted by Igor Strawinsky.
CD edition: X-2/4-6 (Recording 1964).
Autograph: The original manuscript is in the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.
Copyright: 1947 by Schott and Co., Ltd., London; U.S.A. Copyright assigned to Associated Music Publishers, Inc.; 1968 © assigned to B. Schott's Söhne, Mainz.
66-1 (1947) PoSc; Associated Music Publishers, Inc., New York; 25 pp.; AMP 194551.
66-1Straw ibd. [with annotations].
66-2  PoSc; Schott Mainz; 32 p.; 42319; 5942.
b) Characteristic features
66-1 Igor Stravinsky / ODE / elegiacal* chant in three parts / [vignette] / Miniature Score . . . . $ 2.00 / SCHOTT AND COMPANY LTD., LONDON / ASSOCIATED MUSIC PUBLISHERS, INC., NEW YORK / Printed in U.S.A. // Igor Stravinsky / ODE / elegiacal* chant in three parts / [Vignette] / SCHOTT AND COMPANY LTD., LONDON / ASSOCIATED MUSIC PUBLISHERS, INC., NEW YORK / Printed in U.S.A. [**] // (Pocket score stapled 15.1 x 22.7 (8° [gr. 8°]); 25  pages + 4 cover pages thicker paper blue on light green grey [front cover title with centre centred vignette 5.1 x 5.7 female head facing the audience crowned with a lyra centre on stage with raised curtain, 3 empty pages] + 2 pages front matter [title page black on white with front cover title centre centred vignette 5.1 x 5.7 female head facing the audience crowned with a lyra centre on stage with raised curtain, empty page] + 1 page back matter [empty page]; title head >ODE° / Elegiacal* Chant in Three Parts<; dedication above title head centre italic > Dedicated to the memory of Natalie Koussevitzky<; author specified 1st page of the score paginated p. 1 below unwith dots römisch numeriertem movement title >I / Eulogy<° flush right centred >Igor Stravinsky / (1943)<; legal reservation 1st page of the score below type area centre centred >Copyright, 1947, by Schott & Co. Ltd. / U.S.A. Copyright assigned to / Associated Music Publishers, Inc.<; plate number [exclusively] p. 1 below type area flush left >AMP 194551<; production indication 1st page of the score below type area flush right >Printed in U.S.A.<; without end mark) // (1947)
° In ornamental letters.
* The outer and inner titles are in lower case, and in the main heading, capital letters.
** At this point in the specimen copy in the British Library (>C.133.g.(1.)<, entered and blue dated 29. 11. 1951), there is a stamp centred in the middle >THE COPYRIGHT OF / SCHOTT Co. LTD., / 43, GREAT MARLBOROUGH STREET, / LONDON. W.1<.
Strawinsky’s copy is signed and dated >February / I947 / IStr< on the outer title page starting above, continuing next to and finishing underneath >ODE<.
66-2 SCHOTT / Musik des 20. Jahrhunderts / Strawinsky / [°] / Ode / Triptychon für Orchester / Ed. 5942 / [vignette] // Igor Strawinsky / Ode / Triptychon für Orchester / Studien-Partitur / Edition Schott 5942 / B. Schott's Söhne · Mainz / Schott & Co. Ltd. · London / Schott Music Corp. · New York // (Pocket score sewn 19.2 x 27.4 (8° [Lex. 8°]); 32  pages + 4 cover pages thin cardboard black on bright yellow [front cover title flush right with publisher’s emblem 0.7 x 1.2 yellow on black wheel of Mainz in a frame without text, 2 empty pages, page with publisher’s advertisements >Schott / Music of the 20 th Century<* + production indication with production data >Printed in Germany< [#] >70 s<] + 3 pages front matter [title page flush right, page with dedication >Dedicated to the memory of Natalie Koussevitzky<, legend >Strumenti dell’orchestra< Italian + duration data [11’] Italian] without back matter; title head in connection with author specified 1st page of the score paginated p. 4 flush right >Igor Strawinsky / Ode<; movement title flush left; legal reservation 1st page of the score below type area flush left >© Schott & Co. Ltd., London, 1947 / © assigned to Associated Music Publishers, Inc., New York / © assigned to B. Schott's Söhne, Mainz, 1968; plate number [exclusively] in connection with production indication p. 32 flush right as end mark >Verlag: B. Schott's Söhne, Mainz 42319<) 
° Dividing horizontal line, i.e. page width.
* Compositions are advertised without columns divisions with edition numbers without fill character (dots) shown in the block of study scores from >Wolfgang Fortner< to >Igor Strawinsky Ode. Triptychon für Orchester [#] (1943) Ed. 5942 / Scherzo fantastique< [#] Ed. 3501 / Danses concertantes [#] Ed. 4275<, in the block of the Eulenburg scores from >Tadeusz Baird< to >Igor Strawinsky >Symphonie in three Movementns [#] ETP 574<, in the block of the Ars Viva editions from >Heinz Holliger< to >Aribert Reiman< (Strawinsky not mentioned).
K Catalog: Annotated Catalog of Works and Work Editions of Igor Strawinsky till 1971, revised version 2014 and ongoing, by Helmut Kirchmeyer.
© Helmut Kirchmeyer. All rights reserved.
http://www.kcatalog.org and http://www.kcatalog.net