STRAVINSKY, Igor (1882-1971). Autograph manuscript signed ('Igor Stravinsky') of the full score of 'Canticum Sacrum ad Honorem Sancti Marci Nominis', signed (with initials 'I. Str.') and dated at end 24 November 1955, a calligraphic copy in pencil, 52 pages, 4to (360 x 280mm), numbered 1-52 (p.31 split and repaired with tape), on transparent master sheets, last five leaves on opaque sheets.
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STRAVINSKY, Igor (1882-1971). Autograph manuscript signed ('Igor Stravinsky') of the full score of 'Canticum Sacrum ad Honorem Sancti Marci Nominis', signed (with initials 'I. Str.') and dated at end 24 November 1955, a calligraphic copy in pencil, 52 pages, 4to (360 x 280mm), numbered 1-52 (p.31 split and repaired with tape), on transparent master sheets, last five leaves on opaque sheets.

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STRAVINSKY, Igor (1882-1971). Autograph manuscript signed ('Igor Stravinsky') of the full score of 'Canticum Sacrum ad Honorem Sancti Marci Nominis', signed (with initials 'I. Str.') and dated at end 24 November 1955, a calligraphic copy in pencil, 52 pages, 4to (360 x 280mm), numbered 1-52 (p.31 split and repaired with tape), on transparent master sheets, last five leaves on opaque sheets.

Provenance: Igor Stravinsky; acquired directly from the composer, June 1959.

ONE OF THE MAJOR WORKS OF STRAVINSKY'S LAST CREATIVE PERIOD AND HIS FIRST IN TWELVE-TONE FORM

Canticum sacrum was Stravinsky's first concerted exploration of twelve-tone technique: the central three movements use two rows throughout, while the last movement is a retrograde of the first. This was also the composer's first work to make use of the organ, which is employed extensively.

Stravinsky requested permission on 10 August 1956 from Cardinal Roncalli (later Pope John XXIII) to perform Canticum sacrum in St Mark's Cathedral, Venice, and its première took place there on St Mark's Day, 13 September, that year, together with the composer's arrangement of Bach's Von Himmel Hoch, the two pieces sharing the same orchestration. But in fact Canticum sacrum, commissioned by Alessandro Piovesan for the Biennale, had all along been conceived and composed with St Mark's in mind, with its low sonorities, antiphonal devices and pauses after substantial tutti all evidently responses to the cathedrals resonant acoustic; indeed, some critics have gone further, and discerned a reference in the five movements of the Canticum to the five domes of St Mark's. The work is 'as self-consciously put together, perhaps, as any by a major master since Bach, and as painstakingly devised for its purpose, which was that it should belong as completely as possible within the physical and historical atmosphere of St Mark's Cathedral in Venice' (Stephen Walsh. Music of Stravinsky, 1988, p.236). It is deservedly one of the most celebrated of Stravinsky's late works.
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