Throwback Thursday: Igor Stravinsky’s “Symphony In C” Premieres in Chicago.

Today in 1940 on the 7th of November Igor Stravinsky had his famous SYMPHONY IN C premiered by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Orchestra Hall.

Igor Stravinsky, born June 18th 1882 in Oranienbaum, Russia and died on April 6th, 1971 New York City. Stravinsky’s recognition first arrived because of his ballet scores such as PETRUSHKA, THE FIREBIRD and RITE OF SPRING. But in 1920 he took up composing orchestras, namely “SYMPHONIES OF WIND INSTRUMENTS” and was later commissioned (reportedly $2,500) by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss and Mr. John Alden Carpenter to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra during the 1940-41 season.

SYMPHONY IN C consists of three flutes and a piccolo, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones and tuba, timpani, and strings. Performance time is approximately twenty-eight minutes. During the time of its composition Stravinsky went through the most horrific times of his life. His daughter Ludmilla passed away from Tuberculosis, his wife Catherine and his mother also passed on from tuberculosis within three months that same year. To say that SYMPHONY IN C was the only thing keeping Igor Stravinsky alive and composing during that period, is no exaggeration.

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Artist Of The Week: Janet Blackwell Tries To Pick Up The Pieces With Still Looking

What is one to do when they find themselves stripped of all sense of familiarity? For singer Janet Blackwell the answer is searching for consolation in anything that will keep her spirits up, even if just for a moment. Her new single STILL LOOKING is an authentic look at what it means to try and pick up the pieces, when all that once made sense is now lost and broken.

Instrumentally, STILL LOOKING finds honesty in minimalism and improvisational spirit. The piano lines cascade downward like tear drops. The foundation set by the double bass adds a layer of depth that carries this song forward, adding a lot of color. There is an endearing sense of conversation taking place between the piano and bass playing that adds a raw sense of emotion to this song. It serves as the perfect complement to Janet Blackwell’s vocal performance as she places her soul on wax for the entire world to see.

Janet Blackwell is second to none when it comes to conveying how she truly feels. Her lyrics are blunt, getting right to the core of whatever emotion she is feeling at a given time. She appears wounded and confused. However, there is a tinge of optimism here. Maybe — just maybe — she realizes that better days are ahead.

With STILL LOOKING, Janet Blackwell is indeed searching for something or someone. Whatever it is, it is clear that she is trying to accept the notion that heartbreak can open new doors, even though she only sounds convinced about half of the time. At points on this song, the grief is consuming her however, her inner-strength, her fortitude and passion for discovery is all there. Sometimes, that’s all you need.

Still Looking is now available on all platforms.

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