IGOR FYODOROVICH STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Autograph card signed ‘I Stravinsky’, in French, addressed to his friend Edwin Evans. Villa Bel-Air in Salvan in the Swiss Valais. 1 August 1914 (postmarked 2 August 1914)

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1 p. 1/2 in-12 oblong, with autograph address. «Thank you, old chap, for your immediate reply and for your kindness in helping me in this matter. I sent, immediately after your telegram, an express letter to Beecham, so that he should receive it on the 29th of July; and as I have so far had no reply, I sent him a telegram if he really received my letters and despatches. Certainly no reply. I find his conduct towards me very rude and I do not know what to do, especially now during all the threats of war when all the banks are closed. As for the postage [the contribution?], I still receive it regularly. Still your I. Stravins. I sent you «The Voice of the Stars» Did you receive it?» The cantata The Star King (звездоликий) was composed by Igor Stravinsky for 2 tenors or 2 baritones with orchestra in 1911 and 1912, based on a piece of verse by the Russian symbolist poet Konstantin Balmont. At the same time he had set two other poems by this writer, «Le Myosotis» (Незабудочка-цветочек) and «Le Pigeon» (Голубь) for soprano with piano accompaniment. Later, in his old age, Igor Stravinsky would say of The Star King that for him this work «remains in a sense [his] most ‘radical’ and difficult composition». Igor Stravinsky also refers here to one of the two Beechams: Joseph Beecham, who financed and organised the London performance of his opera The Nightingale by Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in June 1914, or his son, the conductor Thomas Beecham, who conducted Petrushka in 1911 and The Rite of Spring in 1913, and supported the composer financially during the war. An active promoter of contemporary music, the English critic Edwin Evans (1874-1945) contributed to the Pall Mall Gazette from 1912 to 1923, then to the Daily Mail. He tirelessly promoted the composers of his time, English, French and Russian, such as Gustav Holst, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Debussy, Duparc, Dukas, Fauré, Ravel, Roussel and Stravinsky. In particular, Edwin Evans became friendly with Stravinsky and acted as his intermediary in his business dealings in England. In 1938 he became president of the International Society for Contemporary Music.