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“... me of something I’d never heard – a commercial traveller’s overtures. There is nothing in Robert Craft’s skilful, conscientious, copiously annotated selection to get me over the shock I then received: on the contrary, there’s plenty to revive it. Boring as many of the composer’s letters are (which, then, have remained unselected?), about ...”
“... but at least he was Stravinsky. His wife’s letters to him, which preponderate over his to her in Robert Craft’s new selection of Stravinskyiana, Dearest Bubushkin, have biographical importance but do not all that frequently rise above the level of any wife to any husband. The book, though physically attractive and lavishly illustrated, is a hard ...”
“... status is, of course, more doubtful, even where a great composer is concerned. The Stravinsky/Robert Craft dialogues provide a case in point: can these unlikely confections, stilted essays in what one might call the comedy of conversational manners, really be taken seriously? In a sense, yes, they can. Their rhetoric – an ...”
“... to reinvent himself with every press interview) and those of his friend, the conductor and writer Robert Craft, who has passed off much of his own prose as the composer’s, and whose custodianship of the Stravinsky legacy Walsh regards as dubious. Then there is the mystifying role of Russia, where the Stravinsky archives were so long inaccessible, and ...”
“... Extracts, or pericopes – to borrow his typically ornate term – from Robert Craft’s diary of his years with Stravinsky first appeared in the famous series of their conversation books issued throughout the Sixties. In 1972, after the composer’s death, a far bigger selection was published as Stravinsky: Chronicle of a Friendship, 1948-1971 ...”
“... of an intermediary. (This surely was one function of his friendship with the ardent Schoenbergian Robert Craft – which Keller does not mention – a friendship which began three years before Schoenberg’s death.) Many perceptive observers will have taken it for granted that Webern acted as a kind of buffer between the two other composers, and will be ...”
“... it, sadly, as a back-handed assessment of the other achievements. Nichols quotes with disapproval Robert Craft on Ravel’s ‘inability to emerge from the emotional world of his childhood’, but might have represented Craft more fairly by including the rest of the remark (in Current Convictions), which has it that ...”
“... how to build an engine which reconciled lightness and power, and how to balance and steer the aircraft once it was in motion. By August 1900, Wilbur had designed and partly built a prototype powered glider, and was eager to test it. What he needed was a suitable laboratory: ideally, a coastal region with steady wind speeds and high dunes to launch from. He ...”
“... preparing lunch. Few men seem as innocent and apolitical as a chef who is preoccupied with his craft – though an exception might have to be made for the trusty employed by the Borgias. Frenchmen, perhaps, are too realistic, or live too closely to their chefs, to subscribe to this view: it was a Frenchman who reminded the world that an army marches upon ...”
“... and admiring and funny reminiscences by Auden’s friends, notably in the Conversations of Robert Craft and Igor Stravinsky, hardly sentimental, inexperienced or patient observers of the human scene. The comments on Auden display only in an extreme form the mentality at work here, with its incapacity for understanding, accuracy or minimum ...”
“... good enough for him’. Could you say that about his acting? He is very informative about his craft. Concentration, he opines, is the main key to cinema playing: without it you are lost and the maintaining it through thick and thin is essential, exhausting and sometimes so hard that one is brought to the edge of madness. It is a lesson many actors never ...”
“... and a particular trade: ‘I don’t know exactly where he got the facts about the mason’s craft, however, and I should like to.’ It is Trollope – substantial, circumstantial Trollope – who counters the symbolism and the hurtful recollections of the transient 1930s in The Pyramid. In their complex final form Mr Golding’s novels invite ...”
“... In the summer of 1935, when he was 18, Robert Lowell and two friends from St Mark’s School – Blair Clark and Frank Parker – rented a house in Nantucket. Under Lowell’s direction, they studied the Bible (with special attention to the Book of Job) and ate cereal with raw honey and ‘badly’ cooked eels ...”
“... parts of the mind, yet as they emerge from that promising condition where they are still, in Robert Frost’s words, ‘a lump in the throat, a homesickness, a lovesickness’, they depend for safe passage not only upon instinctive tacts but upon literary awarenesses, upon an ear that is more or less cultivated as well being naturally sensitive. During ...”
“... designers with a grammar of historic ornament which they could incorporate in their own work’. Crafts that had died out in Petersburg (icon painting, cheap popular prints, lacquer work) were still alive in Moscow, where the ‘old-style merchant taste . . . dominated the art market’. A neo-Russian style was created, and in the 1870s the wealthy Moscow ...”