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The program note I want to gloss concerns the Symphony in Three Movements, which was composed over the years 1942 to 1945 and first performed, on 24 January 1946, by the New York Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra under the composer’s baton. In 1963 Stravinsky seemed to have had a change of heart that rendered him willing to admit what he had formerly denied, even if he still needed to cloak the admission in paradox. Is it evidence that (to recall a book of outdated centennial essays) Stravinsky the musician never really meant what Stravinsky the modernist averred? We’ll never know. Meanwhile, we’ll go on performing and interpreting Stravinsky’s music the way not he but we need to hear it. As long as we do that, his work will live.

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