Stravinsky LES NOCES (1919 version; Verbey completion)

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EDITORIAL PREFACE to the 1919 draft of Les Noces Prepared during the winter of 1918–19, Stravinsky’s full-score draft of Les Noces (entitled Les Noces villageoises) for an ensemble of two cimbaloms, harmonium, pianola and percussion runs to the end of the second tableau; the final, eighty-ninth page announces the ‘Troisième tableau’ with the appropriate stage directions in French, at which point the draft ends.1 The present edition essentially follows this draft for the first and second tableaux and provides an orchestration and realisation of the third and fourth tableaux by Theo Verbey. Though Stravinsky’s draft is in many ways meticulous—providing, for instance, detailed performance instructions and diagrams showing the position of the percussion instruments (see the footnotes on pages 9, 35 and 45 of the present edition)—it also has lacunae. Pages 6, 7 and 8 of the draft, corresponding to bars 52–84, are blank. Only the vocal parts feature on pages 27–30 (bars 195–214), 61 (bars 343–49) and 68–69 (bars 380–88); and only the vocal and harmonium parts appear on pages 46–51 (bars 278–308). Pages 31–33 (bars 215–24) and 63–64 (bars 354–61) map out the bars but contain no music. In the present edition the instrumentation in these sections has been completed by Colin Matthews, who has also provided second-cimbalom and pianola parts for bars 146–50, the percussion parts of bars 165–72, the cimbaloms in bar 309, the firstcimbalom part from bar 337 beat 2 to the end of bar 338, the harmonium chord of bar 340, the cimbalom and pianola lines of bars 396– 99, and the cimbaloms in bar 400, as well as a completion of Stravinsky’s tentative triangle part on page 23 of the draft (bars 175–77). 1

This draft is deposited in the Stravinsky Archive, Paul Sacher Foundation, Basle, Switzerland.

Theo Verbey has, in addition, suggested the cimbalom interjections of bars 343–46, by analogy with bars 229–31. Where the draft omits the vocal parts, the present edition replicates those of the 2005 Chester edition of the final version of Les Noces.2 The time signatures, tempo markings and double bar lines in the first two tableaux are otherwise as in the 1919 draft. The vocal parts in Stravinsky’s 1919 draft are close, but not identical, to those in his final fair copy of the piano-vocal score.3 (Completed in May 1921, this fair copy constitutes the primary source of the vocal parts in the published vocal and full scores of 1923.)4 In terms of the vocal scoring, pitching, accentuation and note durations, the present edition adheres to the reading of the 1919 draft. Thus, though in the later vocal score the soprano solo/first soprano chorus sing a d2 on the third quaver of bar 126, in the 1919 draft—and consequently in the present edition—they sing an e2. Other differences in the 1919 version include the mezzo-soprano solo/second soprano chorus’s c#2, not c2, in bar 132; these voices’ d2, not a1, on the fourth note of bars 141 and 144; some differences in the tenor solo/alto chorus/tenor chorus parts in the passage between bars 153 and 163; and the assignation of the two bass vocal lines to divided chorus basses in bars 368–88 rather than to the bass solo and a chorus basso profondo. 2

Les Noces, for four pianos, percussion and voices in a revised and corrected edition based upon relevant autograph and printed sources, ed. Margarita Mazo, assoc. ed. Millan Sachania (London, 2005). 3

Deposited in The British Library, London (Chester Music Loan 75.42). 4

The 1921 fair copy also constitutes the primary source of the vocal parts in the 2005 edition of Les Noces (op. cit.).