K064 Circus Polka

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deutsch K064 Zirkus Polka

K64 Circus Polka

composed for a young elephant – Circus Polka, komponiert für einen jungen Elefanten – Circus Polka, composé pour un jeune éléphant – Circus Polka, composta per un giovane elefante

Title: The term 'young elephant' is probably to be understood as a silent joke. The leading elephant ('Old Modoc') was no longer young.

Scored for: Complete Band original instrumentation* (Raksin): 8 Flutes/Piccolo, 1 Solo 1st B-flat Clarinet, 1 Solo 2nd B-flat Clarinet, 5 1st B-flat Clarinets, 5 2nd B-flat Clarinets, 4 E-flat Alto Saxophones, 2 E-flat Baritone Saxophones, 1 Solo 1st B-flat Cornet, 1 Solo 2nd B-flat Cornet, 3 1st B-flat Cornets, 3 2nd B-flat Cornets, 3 3rd B-flat Cornets, 2 1st F Horns, 2 2nd F Horns, 2 1st Trombones, 2 2nd Trombones, 1 3rd Trombone, 1 4st Trombone, 1 1st Euphonium (Baritone B. C.), 1 2nd Euphonium (Baritone B. C.), 3 1st Tubas, 3 2nd Tubas, Snare Drum/Xylophone, Bass Drum/Cymbals, 1 Hammond Organ; Version for Band first edition** (Raksin): 3 Flutes/Piccolo, 2 Solo Clarinets I, 2 Solo Clarinets II, 2 Clarinets I, 2 Clarinets II, 1 Alto Saxophone, 1 Bariton Saxophone, 2 Solo Cornets I, 2 Solo Cornets II, 2 Cornets I, 2 Cornets II, 2 Cornets III, 1 Baritone I, 1 Baritone II, 2 Horns I, 2 Horns II, 1 Trombone I, 1 Trombone II, 1 Trombone III, 1 Trombone IV, 1 Tuba I, 1 Tuba II, 2 Snare Drums, 2 Cymbals; Orchestrated version Strawinsky: Piccolo Flute, Flute, 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets in A, 2 Bassoons, 4 Horns in F, 2 Trumpets in B b, 3 Trombones, Tuba, Timpani, Percussion (Snare Drum, Bass Drum, Cymbals), Strings (Violin I, Violin II***, Viola***, ‘Cello***, Bass****).

* 61 [60] players.

** 39 players.

*** Violins II, Violas and Violoncellos divided in two.

**** With Solo Double Bass.

Construction: The Circus Polka is a short, one-movement orchestral work with a constant tempo throughout and a metronome mark crotchet = 100; it is predominantly in E-flat major and has a 2/4-meter but no choreographic instructions and, in spite of its title, contains no polka rhythm apart from for two bars.

Structure

Crotchet = 100 (168 Bars = Figure 71 up to the end of Figure 30)

[1.] E major-Section a tempo crotchet = 100 (14 bars = bar 1-14 = figure 71 up to the end of figure 1 7with ritardando at 1 7) {A}

[2.] E major-Section (53 bars = bar 15-67 = figure 2 up to the end of figure 11 6{B}

[3.] F sharp major-Section (29 bars = bar 68-96 = figure 12 up to the end of figure 16 5{C}

[4.] E flat major-Section (12 bars = bar 97-108 = figure 17 up to the end of figure 18 6{D}

[5.] E major-Section (29 + 5 bars = bar 109-142 = figure 19 up to the end of figure 25 4) {B/D}

[6.] B flat major-Section (9 bars = bar 143-151 = figure 26 up to the end of figure 27 5) {E}

[7.] E major-Section (17 bars = bar 152-168 = figure 28 up to the end of figure 30 6) {F}

{ } = Analysis letters for the following section Style.

Style: This tonally constructed work, consisting of an introduction, the actual dance number and a short final climax, belongs to the genre of the grotesque, and structurally incorporates the purpose of a circus number. The first 14 bars (A) form a sort of introduction, during which the animals or performers run or dance into the arena. The ritardando of the final bar, figure 1 7, increases the tension into the second E-flat major sequence (B) with its clear melody line, given to the 1st horn, and the elephant-like stamping rhythm in the low strings in the final bar in the 2/4 time signature; this is maintained strictly throughout up to the final bar, which is extended by a crotchet. There is also a rallentando for half a bar at figure 9 4(bar 40), which introduces the afterthoughts. The 29 bars of the F-sharp major section (C) are also in a 2/4 time signature and the final bar of the section, as before, is extended by a crotchet. After a short interlude (D) of 22 bars (figure 17- end of figure 18 6), which is mainly defined by the high flutes and is also in a 2/4 time signature, the Polka, which is not actually a Polka, returns to E major at figure 19 and the second E major section (B) is repeated for 29 (exactly: 29 and a half) bars. This then leads into a quotation of a military march by Franz Schubert, by means of a five-bar passage (D). The parodying alienation which acts as a Finale as well as the effective acoustic climax of the work encompasses a nine-bar B-major section (E), at the end of which it modulates to E major, and a seventeen-bar E major section belonging to this, with which the work ends. It is only in the first two bars of this final section (bars 152+153 = figure 28 1-2) that a rudimentary Polka rhythm can be recognized, but it is strongly overlayed by the resounding military march that it can only be seen in the material but cannot be heard as a Polka dance.

The Schubert quotation

The march quote, which starts at figure 26 with the full orchestra fortissimo and a surprise effect, comes from the third of the three military marches, op. 51 (Deutsch-Verzeichnis 733), which Franz Schubert [1826] wrote for piano four hands. The Schubert adaptation extends over a complex of 26 bars divided into five digits, which form the finale of the Circus Polka. Strawinsky first takes over (figure 261-4) the first four bars of the Primo part (bars 7 to 10) of the Schubert version and converts the upward flourishing movement of the 4th bar in the second complex (figure 271-5) into that for the ballet typical shock movement. The third and fourth complex (figure 281-7, 291-4 and 301) shifts the march adaptation from section 26 into the dominating brass, so that the effect is increased even more. The last complex (figure 301-6) separates itself from the immediate Schubert template except for the last two bars and closes fortissimo and fortississimo. – According to Strawinsky's own statement, the march quotation is not meant to be parodic.

Dedication: There is no dedication indicated.

Duration: etwa 3' 28".

Date of origin: Piano version : Hollywood 5th to 15th February 1942; Raksin version: after the 5th Februar 1942; Orchestrated version Strawinsky: between (probably) February and 5th October 1942.

First performance: Version Band scenic: 9th April 1942 in Madison Square Garden, New York City with the female elephant (elephant lady) Old Modoc [Bessie] as Primaballerina, the Ballet of the Circus in connection with the Corps des Eléphants and the Ringling Brothers' Circus Band under the direction of Merle Evans (Bandmaster) ; costumes by Norman Bel Geddes, stage design by John Murray Anderson, Choreography by George Balanchine; Orchestrated version Strawinsky’s : 13th January 1944, Sanders Theatre Cambridge in Massachusetts with the boston symphony orchestra under the direction of Igor Strawinsky.

Performance problems: This number for elephants with Strawinsky’s music was shown 425 times at that time. This number cannot hide the fact that there were probably performance problems. Elephants react best, according to experience, to music with a dreamy feel, waltzes and military music, providing that these operate in a tonal soundworld and in a straightforward meter. As soon as the music moves into polyrhythm or polymeter, the elephants become unsure, as is claimed by those who know about elephants, and especially as soon as polytonality comes into it, they feel attacked and out of their usually peaceful surroundings and try to run away. This would therefore have resulted in the elephants making several attempts at breaking out in the circus and a stampede must have only been prevented with great effort because the animals felt threatened by Strawinsky’s music. Whether it actually would have turned out so dramatically can only be speculated, but it is certainly debatable, although there are occasionally moments of rhythmic unbalance in the Circus Polka as a result of the type of accentuation. New Music as a medium that causes for example stall cows to give less milk and creates stress in other animals, has long become a hackneyed polemical topic. This same source (Beal) also claims that this was certainly not a matter of a pretty dressage number, but that the elephants were made to look ridiculous by their wearing tailored tutu-like clothes with ladies’ dresses. The fact that the elephant ballet must have been conceived as a comic number (otherwise Strawinsky would have written the music quite differently and avoided the comic, very effective and not at all exposing inclusion of a March) – is not even suggested in this source, so that the suspicion arises that the animal-loving, but clearly humourless reporter had neither understood nor wanted to understand the connections*. It can be ruled out with Strawinsky’s manner of working that he would not have concerned himself with psychological backgrounds, or that he would not have informed himself about dance forms to which elephants would react badly. It would suit Strawinsky’s wit down to the ground to name the elephant number ‘Polka’ because it is not a Polka, with the exception of those two bars which draws upon this rhythm but without being sure that the polka rhythm does not creep into them coincidentally as a countersubject to the March. The virtuosic dialogue between the solo and ensemble scenes also presupposes an understanding between the choreographer and composer, from which a similar necessary arrangement must be assumed between the choreographer and elephant trainer. The number was probably difficult, which would challenge a trainer, from experience. If it had truly been dangerous, the circus would have never incorporated it into their programme; if it had been potentially dangerous, they would not have been able to perform it 425 times. After the performance rights were sold off, Balanchine’s production for the circus received no repeat performances. –

Apparently there were problems with the circus band as well. The score was too difficult or too unusual for her, so that she felt burdened with additional rehearsals and asked for a higher fee. There was an argument and a strike until an agreement was reached.

>* 50 (fifty) elephants were involved, running in circles and led by Old Modoc. There was an elephant leader next to each elephant, a young girl in a pose on each elephant, and on Old Modoc Vera Zorina herself.

Remarks: George Balanchine got married so often that people joked that he could start a ballet company with his divorced wives. Early in 1942, his wife was called Mrs. Vera Zorina, who realized the title role of Perséphone and was highly regarded by Strawinsky. She was later the wife of the president of Columbia Records for many years, Goddard Lieberson, and oversaw the production of vinyl records as the Director of Production from 1981/82. At that time, she was working with elephants in the circus Barnum and Bailey. One of the elephant calves had an almost overpowering circus talent and was widely known for this. It had the name ‘Modoc’, also ‘Old Modoc’. Whether it was Balanchine’s or the Ringling Brothers’ idea to choreograph an elephant ballet with Modoc as the centrepiece, remains conjecture. In any case, Balanchine received the commission for it, and he addressed to Strawinsky, what suggested itself, after the music had been made available to him on the part of the circus. Strawinsky’s piano manuscript was completed on 5th February 1942, as the original dating shows. He did not produce the arrangement for circus band himself, rather it was David Raskin who did this. As can be seen from a letter from Strawinsky to Ernest Voigt of 13th April 1942, i.e. only four days after the première, the circus received the performance rights for a year. The conditions are summarized in a letter from Strawinsky to the director of the circus, Milton Bender, of 31st January 1942. He sent an excerpt from it to Voigt on 2nd May 1942. He claimed 250 dollars from Associated Music Publishers, and an additional 125 dollars of material costs, which also included the material costs for the Danses concertantes, for which he received 500 dollars, as can be seen from letters of 13th and 25th April 1942 to Voigt. It can be concluded from later statements by Strawinsky that he had neither seen the elephant ballet nor heard Raskin’s piano orchestration at that point. He completed his own symphonic version by 5th October 1942 at the latest. This dating also comes from the surviving manuscript material. The printing was also somewhat problematic for several reasons, not least because Strawinsky was overloaded with work. On 24th October 1942, he was in possession of the green corrections for the solo piano edition, which he proof-read immediately and was able to return to New York by 1st November via his friend, Marcelle Manziarly. The parts for the orchestral version were not ready for printing at this time. Strawinsky had made the acquaintance of a studio group of orchestral musicians who met every week to play through new scores. He arranged with them to listen to the Polka around 10th November, so that he could then complete the parts for the publishers ‘in the best condition’, as he assured Voigt on 1st November. Strawinsky was had a light flu for a few days, and so had to cancel the rehearsal. This opportunity did not come again because the petrol rationing decreed as a result of the war restricted the musicians’ meetings. This forced Strawinsky to look through the music himself note-for-note without comparing them to the aural result, something which, he complained, cost him a great deal of time. He did not want to have this pressing work completed by someone else because he had promised the publishers a mistake-free work in ‘perfect shape’, as he wrote in a letter of apology to Voigt dated 12th December with the following ironic sentence: ‘So now you can go ahead in confidence’. Other problems arose, because the issue of the design in which his new works with Associated Music Publishers were to be published was generally still to be cleared up. It therefore took until August of the next year, 1943, that the printing of the score came up for discussion again. There certainly must have been difficulties with the manuscript, probably that something could not be found. Since it can be seen from Strawinsky’s letter to Voigt of 30th August 1943 responding to this that Strawinsky had been offered to have the score published as a facsimile, which he was very agreeable to, but that his manuscript also be used, which caused Strawinsky to wonder because the publishers already had a great number of copies. On 5th September 1943 however, Strawinsky sent his original manuscript, written in pencil, to Hugo Winter to be photographed, with the request that it be send back as quickly as possible and properly guaranteed. At this point in time, there was also a shake-up of personel in the publishers. Strawinsky no longer had Ernest Voigt as his correspondence partner, rather Hugo Winter, Arthur Mendel and Gretl Urban. In a letter of 24th September to Winter, he refers to having sent off the manuscript on16 thSeptember. Whether this was a reference to a second manuscript or was simply an incorrect date cannot be seen from the surviving correspondence. There must have been an arrangement not to send the manuscript back but to give it to Strawinsky in person when he was in New York. In October, Strawinsky changed his itinerary however. Instead of coming to New York as intended and working there, he asked Arthur Mendel on 12th October 1943 to send him the manuscript along with the corrections to Hollywood. He would not need much time for the corrections, especially as he was to conduct his Polka in Boston on 13th, 14th and 15th January 1944. As he wrote, it would be in both their interests to ensure the publication of the score in that year, 1943. Radio Boston, as can be seen from a letter from Strawinsky to Winter dated 3rd December, broadcast the concert on 15th January at 8 or 8.30pm. Winter probably received a recording of this broadcast. This can be inferred from a dispute between Koussevitsky, Strawinsky and Winter, which Strawinsky described in a letter of 11th February 1944. According to this, Koussevitsky was very impressed by the pieces that Strawinsky was conducting in Boston and wanted to conduct them himself, as well as recording the Circus Polka on vinyl. Strawinsky did not seem very enthusiastic about this, even less, as he learnt that Koussevitsky was not going to schedule the rehearsal, as Strawinsky presumed, during the course of the year but on the next day, 16th January. With this in mind, he asked Winter to send Koussevitsky his recordings of the Norwegian pieces and Circus Polka, so that he would have an authentic document and there would therefore be no further scope for changes. The printing however dragged on through the winter of 1943/44 and the manuscript travelled constantly back and forth. As can be seen from Strawinsky’s letter to Gretl Urban of 30th January 1944 with a lightly ironic tone, the round trips made by the manuscript that had taken place so far between Los Angeles and New York had had no appreciable result, and Strawinsky, who was very particular and tidy, got especially angry about certain dog-ears and other damage to the corners of the pages of the autograph score, which caused him to request greater care on the part of the publishers in packaging the manuscript. In the meanwhile, he had given up on the idea of producing a facsimile of the manuscript due to bad experiences with the photographic results, for example with the Hindemith scores, but he was considering the matter anew. Up to the end of March 1944, Strawinsky received the final corrections and was not happy with some of them, as can be seen from his letter to Winter of 27th March 1944. The numbers of the figures had become much too large and he wished them to be reduced to the original size; apart from this, he demanded that the name of the instruments be included on every page before every system, and not only, as is often the practice, on the first page only. He did not entrust the fulfillment of these wishes to the publishers, rather he demanded a new copy in order to convince himself that the corrections had in fact been made. Before the final printing, he demanded from the publishers that all the previous material be destroyed as erroneous and replaced with correct parts.

Significance: As a composition, the successful Circus Polka counts as one of Strawinsky’s trivial but pleasant compositions. – She certainly played a role in a completely different sense. Up to his general contract with Boosey & Hawkes in 1947, Strawinsky had no exclusive representative. His connection to Jurgenson in Moscow was ended by the Russian Revolution. He was in dispute with his subsequent publishers Forberg. The Swiss publishers, Henn, had only been a transitional solution made necessary by the War. The English publishers, Chester, with whom he had fallen out unlike with any other publishers for reasons for which Strawinsky only had the smallest guilt, took their place. Hansen in Copenhagen played a good, but only peripheral role and was out of the picture in the United States. Both the political events in Germany after 1933 as well as the lack of rights protection stood against any connection with the Russian music publishers, which was founded by the two Koussevitskys and was based in Berlin, and up to that point had published the most works; the lack of rights protection brought the American illegal printers into business, and resulted in the closure of the German central office. In the meantime, thanks to the dealings of Dr. Ludwig Strecker, a fairly good relationship had been built up with the German publishers, Schott, which the Firebird trial that they had lost together made even closer. There can be no doubt that in a politically simple situation, Strawinsky would have had to decide between Koussevitsky and Strecker, and Schott would probably have become Strawinsky’s main representative. In America, he did not have to build up his relationship with the publishers afresh, as his new contact at Associated Music Publishers in New York was also Schott’s American representative during the War. Up to that point, Boosey & Hawkes in London had not played any part for Strawinsky. Strawinsky now saw Associated Music Publishers as his publishing counterpart. The problems connected with the edition became clear in the case of the Circus Polka, because Strawinsky strove for a design for his works that had to be sanctioned exclusively by him. As a result, he did not consent to Voigt’s offer of including an illustration on the title page of the Circus Polka. What sort of an illustration Voigt had in mind cannot be gleaned from Strawinsky’s letter of refusal of 18th November 1942 to Ernest Voigt. Strawinsky refers to a telegram rather than a design that he had been given. In this attempt to deduce how the Circus Polka was to be presented prettily, one cannot go wrong in assuming that the illustration was a portrayal of elephants or an animal performance with one ore more elephants. Schott publishers would later in fact decorate its versions for piano with a [dressed in tails] male trainer, wearing a cylindrical hat and carrying a whip, who makes an elephant sit up and beg. Schott however only used these etchings in the keyboard editions, not in the pocket-score editions, as these were standardized according to their titles according to a standard format for text and colour scheme, and were not allowed to be deviated from at all. For these reasons, Strawinsky refused Voigt’s offer. Strawinsky wanted a format for the title page which would be identical for all his works and which acknowledged Strawinsky as the composer in the design. If he were to agree to an illustration, it could only be used, with Voigt’s agreement, in connection with a single work, in this case the Polka for elephants, next time either to be replaced by another or not replaced at all and only removed. Voigt’s offer, which inadvertently contradicted his plans, clearly made him nervous and so he was in a great hurry. On 7th December 1942, he sent Voigt an altered title page and enclosed a page design designed by his friend painter friend, Eugene Berman, which he wanted to be used as a general template for all future editions of his works published by Associated Music Publishers. He allowed the publishers to choose the colour of the paper, between light grey, which Voigt preferred, ivory-coloured, beige or white. Strawinsky demanded an exemplar before the final printing and requested above all that his ‘valuable sketch’, dedicated to him and signed by Berman, be returned to him.

Versions: There are more versions and editions of the original Circus Polka than were published by Associated Music Publishers and later by Schott. It can be seen from a letter from Strawinsky to Winter dated 15th February 1944 that an American sergeant called Robert Weatherly from the Air Force Band was inquiring from Strawinsky of the possibility of creating a version for band, because he was enthusiastic about the music and wanted to perform it. Strawinsky referred him to Associated Music Publishers and sent him the version for band, which must have been the Raksin version. Strawinsky was enthusiastic about Sol Babitz’s violin transcription. His letter referring to this matter to Ernest Voigt of Associated Music Publishers of 28th June 1942 can be read in such a way as to suppose that the publishers might have been hoping for a corresponding version from Samuel Dushkin, which however failed to happen. Despite his friendship with Dushkin, as Strawinsky wrote to Voigt, he could see no reason to wait for an eventual transcription by Dushkin when they had Babitz on hand. Strawinsky learnt from a letter from the publishers of 25th June 1942 that Babitz’s version for two pianos had been commissioned, and he seemed very pleased about this, having worked with Babin and overseen the transcription, as can be seen from his letter of 28th June 1942. The Circus Polka had clearly attracted several parties interested in transcribing it. Strawinsky however only gave his approval for printing if he had approved the edition concerned. This was the case with Babitz as well as with Babin. On the other hand, the events surrounding Dougherty, which can be traced back to the efforts of the publishers, are quite unclear. When the publishers brought the name Dougherty into the mix, he declined with the conclusive argument that they already had Babin’s edition and that he saw no sense in producing another one. The publishers responded, asking whether they were to regard this as a final decision, which Strawinsky confirmed in a letter of 25th July 1942. He wrote that he simply had no time to correct new transcriptions of his works, and without this control, he would give no permission for a printing. On this occasion, he mentioned Babitz’s violin transcription, which he would send in the next few days. Despite Strawinsky’s refusal, the publishers, or better: Ernest Voigt, did not back down in the matter of Dougherty, and forced Strawinsky to concede to a performance of an arrangement which he had never seen. Dougherty made the error of printing his own name in the programme next to that of Strawinsky and as a result ostensibly implied a collaboration which in truth had never taken place, whereupon Strawinsky, who was extremely sensitive in such matters, forbade all such things. He gave his consent exclusively on Voigt’s authority, and he did not rule out that Dougherty would make a good edition for two pianos, but in general, the arrangement of a piece is not necessarily a collaboration and in this case, it was certainly not one. In spite of the piece’s popularity, only the two editions for piano solo, Babin’s transcription for two pianos and the pocket score were published during Strawinsky’s lifetime. The copyright, which Strawinsky registered in 1942 for the piano version at first in his name, belonged to Associated Music Publishers and was later transferred to Schott, who renewed it in 1971. The editions were later printed with mostly insignificant alterations to the title page. Associated Music Publishers announced three publications in 1943: a solo edition for piano for one dollar, an edition for violin and piano for one dollar (Babitz’s arrangement) and the four-handed Babin edition for two dollars. The three editions were first printed in American print runs for which the violin transcription is of especial rarity and is not in any of the large copyright libraries up to the present day, even in London. In the American library catalogues, the Library of Congress in Washington is in possession of one copy. Strawinsky received his contributory copy of the American Babin edition in February 1943 and his pocket-score edition, published by Schott in 1952, in April 1952. The score version was also produced in 1944 by Associated Music Publishers as an American printing and sold for two-and-a-half dollars. The contract with Associated Music Publishers was signed on 19th June 1942 as Circus Polka for Military Band . Strawinsky received a fee of 250 dollars and the usual share of the sales and performance proceeds from the rights for mechanical reproduction, which he never omitted. In January 1943, the solo piano edition was produced with a run of 1,020 copies, and in February 1943 the Babin edition for two pianos likewise ran to 766 copies, while in March 1943 the Babitz edition for violin and piano was printed to 775 copies. In the publishing year 1943, the publishers sold 286 copies of the piano editions and gave away 144, sold 204 of Babin’s edition and gave away 107, as well as 138 copies of the transcription for violin, giving away 100. Up to the middle of 1947, they sold a further 274 copies of the piano edition, 146 copies of the Babin edition and 140 of the violin transcription. The orchestral-score edition then followed with a run of 501 copies by the middle of June at the latest (the copy in the Library of Congress in Washington bears the entry date 30th July 1944). In the year of publication 1944, 32 of these were sold and more than double were given away (84). Up to the middle of 1947, a further 134 were sold. At this time, a considerable number of copies were still in stock, so that no new print run was necessary. At Schott in London, only 64 copies of the solo piano version and 91 of the two-piano version were sold between 1953 and 1958. 655 and 760 of each respective edition from the London Schott printing were in stock. Later on, when the printings were the responsibility of Schott publishers in Mainz, sales were better.

Print runs Schott Mainz: The original version of the Circus Polka, i.e. the piano version , received 6 print runs in total at 500 copies each by Schott in Mainz up to the end of the year of Strawinsky’s death (print jobs 5th January 1951; 10th December 1953; 28th April 1958; 10th June 1963; 9th January 1967; 13th April 1971). In addition to these 3,000 copies, another 3,865 copies were produced between Strawinsky’s death and the end of the century in a further 6 print runs. The final 3 printings had a new cover (print jobs 20/07/1973: 500; 06/01/1976: 800; 20/08/1980: 500; 16/03/1983: 1,100; 5/12/1989: 500 [519+6]; 26/07/1993: 500 [540+6]). Sales of the pocket score became smaller in Strawinsky’s lifetime. In 3 printings, (print run 7th April 1952: 800; 9th November 1961: 500; 11th April 1969: 500), 1,800 copies were produced, and after Strawinsky’s death up to the end of the century, 2,410 copies were printed in 5 printings (print jobs 02/05/1972: 500; 22/10/1976: 500; 21/11/1980: 500; 09/05/1985: 600; 20/04/1993: 300 [304+6]). The connections between the solo and the Babin editions also require an explanation, as despite the announcements from the publishers regarding the solo version (disc number 37841; edition number 4282), the edition for 2 pianos (disc number 47768; edition number 4283) was clearly published by Schott in Mainz after Strawinsky’s death, which is shown by the high disc number. The plate books catalogue, in inverted date order, 2 print runs of 400 copies each, producing 412 and 424 (print jobs 19/07/1993: 400 [406+6]; 14/07/1993 [418+6]). This is however contradicted by the yearly accounts sent to Strawinsky by Schott, according to which Schott in Mainz, as well as 312 scores, sold approximately 491 copies of the edition for two pianos in the accounting years 1956/57 to 1962, and in 1957/58 they produced a new version of the edition for two pianos at a run of 300. Likewise in 1961/62, there was a similar print run running to 500 copies, and in 1966/67 a further one running to 500 copies. Between July 1964 and June 1969, the sales came to a little over 300 copies of the Babin edition and slightly more than 250 scores. The free copies must also be added to these figures, the number of which was no longer as high as in the American time at the beginning. In the first Schott edition of the pocket score after the War, the date of composition is given correctly as >1942< in the statement of authorship on the first page of music. In the later edition, the 2 was removed by a typographically different 4 that looks rather like handwriting and is somewhat off-centre.

Historical recordings: New York 5th February 1945 with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Igor Strawinsky; Toronto 29th March 1963 with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Igor Strawinsky.

CD edition: VI/17(Recording 1963).

Autographs: The manuscripts of the piano and orchestral version are in the Library of Congress in Washington, and nothing is known about the whereabouts/state of the Raksin version.

Copyright: 1944 by Associated Music Publishers, Inc., New York; 1948 by B. Schott's Söhne Mainz.

Errors, legends, colportages, curiosities, stories

The deciding telephone conversation between Balanchine and Strawinsky is reproduced in the Strawinsky literature as a curiosity (Stravinsky: ‘What kind of music?’ – Balanchine: ‘A polka. – St.: ‘For whom?’ – B: ‘Elephants.’ – St.: ‘How old?’ – B.: ‘Young.’ – St.: ‘If they are very young, I’ll do it.’). In his memoirs, Strawinsky always refers to the solo elephant as an animal with the name ‘Bessy’, never ‘Modoc’. He wrote that he later visited her and kissed her hands = feet.

Editions

a) Overview

64-1 1943 Piano Solo; Associated Music Publishers New York / Schott London; 9 pp.; A.S. 194219.

64-2 1943 Piano Kl.-4hd. (Babin); Assoc. Music Publ. / Schott London; 12 pp.; A.S. 194225-12.

    64-2Straw ibd. [with annotations].

64-2[49] [1949] ibd.

64-3 1943 Vl.-Kl. (Babitz); Assoc. Music Publishers NY / Schott London; 11 pp.; A.S. 194226.

64-4 1944 FuSc; Associated Music Publishers New York; 32 pp.; A.S. 194343.

    64-4Straw ibd. [with annotations].

64-5 1948 FuSc-Parts [Raksin]; Associated Music Publishers New York; 31 pp.; – .

64-6St+ZSt 1948 Set of parts and separate parts [unidentified].

64-7 1949 Piano; Schott London / Associated Music Publishers N Y; 9 pp.; A.S. 194219; 10149.

64-7[51] [1951] ibd.

64-8 1949 2 Pianos; Schott London / AMP New York; 12 pp.; A.S. 194225-12; 10150.

64-9 [1950] Piano; Schott Mainz; 9 pp.; B.S.S 37841; 4282.

64-10 (1952) Tp; Schott Mainz; 32 pp.; B·S·S 38096; 4274.

64-10[(61)] [(1961)] ibd.

64-10[(69)] [(1969)] ibd.

b) Characteristic features

64-1 IGOR STRAVINSKY / [°] / Circus Polka / [vignette] / ● Piano solo [#]* $1.00 / Violin & piano [#]* 1.00 / Two pianos, four hands [#]* 2.00 / SCHOTT EDITION / ASSOCIATED MUSIC PUBLISHERS, INC., NEW YORK / SCHOTT & Co., LTD., LONDON // IGOR STRAVINSKY / [°] / Circus Polka / [°°] / [vignette] / Piano solo [#]* $1.00 / Violin & piano [#]* 1.00 / Two pianos, four hands [#]* 2.00 / SCHOTT EDITION / ASSOCIATED MUSIC PUBLISHERS, INC., NEW YORK / SCHOTT & Co., LTD., LONDON // (Piano edition 22.6 x 30.5 (4° [4°]); 9 [8] pages unbound enclosed + 4 cover pages as envelope dark grey on light grey [front cover title with publisher’s emblem 5.2 x 5.7 female head facing the audience crowned with a lyra centre on stage with raised curtain, 2 empty pages, empty page with publisher’s emblem black rectangular 2.1 x 3.2 lion with wheel of Mainz in its paws and writing encircling >B · SCHOTT’S SÖHNE [#] PER MARE [#] MAINZ UND LEIPZIG [#] ET TERRAS<] + 1 page front matter [title page with publisher’s emblem 5 x 5,5 female head crowned with a lyra centre on stage with raised curtain] + 1 page back matter [empty page]; title head >Circus Polka / composed for a young elephant<; author specified 1. page of the score paginated p. 2 below title head flush right centred >IGOR STRAVINSKY / 1942<; legal reservation 1. page of the score below type area centre >Copyright, 1942, by Associated Music Publishers, Inc.<; plate number >A. S. 194219<; production indication 1. page of the score below type area below legal reservation centre >Printed in the U.S.A.<; end of score dated >Hollywood, February 15th, 1942<; without end marks) // (1943)

° Dividing horizontal line of 5 cm, centrally thickening to 0.2 cm.

°° Dividing horizontal line of 2.3 cm, centrally thickening to 0.1 cm.

* Fill character (dotted line).

64-2 IGOR STRAVINSKY / [°] / Circus Polka / [°°] / [vignette] / Piano solo [*] $ 1.00 / Violin & piano [*] 1.00 / ● Two pianos, four hands [*] 2.00 / SCHOTT EDITION / ASSOCIATED MUSIC PUBLISHERS, INC., NEW YORK / SCHOTT & Co., LTD., LONDON // (Edition for two pianos stapled 23.5 x 30.5 ([4°]); 12 [12] pages + 4 cover pages black on light yellow [front cover title with centre centred publisher’s emblem 5.1 x 5.5 female head facing the audience crowned with a lyra centre on stage with raised curtain, 2 empty pages, empty page with publisher’s emblem oval 2.6 x 3.7 lion with wheel of Mainz in its paws and writing encircling >* PER MARE ET TERRAS *<] without front matter [without title page] and without back matter; with enclosed 2. exemplar; authors specified 1. page of the score paginated p. 1 below title flush right >IGOR STRAVINSKY / 1942< flush left >Arranged for two pianos / by / VICTOR BABIN<; legal reservation 1. page of the score below type area centre >Copyright 1943 by Associated Music Publishers, Inc.<; production indication 1. page of the score below type area below legal reservation centre >Printed in U. S. A.<; plate number >A.S. 194225-12<; without end marks) // (1943)

° Dividing horizontal line of 8 cm centrally thickening to 2 millimetre.

°° Dividing horizontal line of 2.3 cm centrally thickening to 1 millimetre.

* Fill character (dotted line).

64-2Straw

The copy from Strawinsky’s estate in the Sacher Foundation in Basel [>IS / PM / 2248<] is signed and dated >Igor Strawinsky / Febr I943< on the outer title page next to the 1st horizontal dividing line.

64-2[49] IGOR STRAVINSKY / [°] / Circus Polka / [°°] / [vignette] / [#] Net / Piano solo* 5/– / ● Two pianos, four hands* 10/– / SCHOTT EDITION 10150 / SCHOTT & Co., LTD., LONDON / ASSOCIATED MUSIC PUBLISHERS, INC., NEW YORK / Printed in England. // (Edition for four hands [library binding] 22.9 x 29.7 ( [Lex. 8°]) [part: 22.5 x 29.9]; 12 [12] pages + 4 cover pages black on light beige [title page with centre centred publisher’s emblem 5,2 x 5,5 female head facing the audience crowned with a lyra centre on stage with raised curtain, 3 empty pages] without front matter and without back matter + enclosed 2. exemplar without cover; title head >Circus Polka / composed for a young elephant<; authors specified 1. page of the score paginated p. 1 below title head flush right centred >IGOR STRAVINSKY / 1942<; arranger specified above, next to and below author specified flush left centred >Arranged for two pianos / by / VICTOR BABIN<; legal reservation 1. page of the score below type area centre centred >Copyright 1943 by Associated Music Publishers, Inc. / Assigned to Schott & Co., Ltd. London.<; plate number >A.S. 194225-12<; production indication p. 12 italic as end mark > Printed in England by Angener Ltd., Acton Lane, London, W.4. <) // [1949]

° Dividing horizontal line of 5.1 cm, centrally thickening to 0.2 cm.

°° Dividing horizontal line of 2.3 cm, centrally thickening to 0.1 cm.

* F ill character (dotted line) .

64-3 IGOR STRAVINSKY / Circus Polka / [vignette] / Piano solo* [#] $1.00 / ● Violin & piano * [#] 1.00 / Two pianos, four hands * [#] 2.00 / SCHOTT EDITION / ASSOCIATED MUSIC PUBLISHERS, INC., NEW YORK / SCHOTT & CO., LTD., LONDON // IGOR STRAVINSKY / Circus Polka / [vignette] / Piano solo* [#] $1.00 / Violin & piano * [#] 1.00 / Two pianos, four hands * [#] 2.00 / SCHOTT EDITION / ASSOCIATED MUSIC PUBLISHERS, INC., NEW YORK / SCHOTT & CO., LTD., LONDON // (Edition violin-piano [library binding] 19.9 x 31.2 ( [4°]) [9" x 12"]; 11 [10] pages + 4. cover pages black on light blue [front cover title with centre centred publisher’s emblem female head facing the audience crowned with a lyra centre on stage with raised curtain, 2 empty pages, empty page with publisher’s emblem centre centred black oval lion with wheel of Mainz in its paws in a frame containing text in bottom half >[asterisk] PER MARE [#] ET TERRAS [asterisk]<] + 1 page front matter [title page] without back matter + violin part enclosed in identical text 4 [4] pages; title head >Circus Polka / composed for a young elephant<; authors specified 1. page of the score paginated p. 2 [violin part paginated p. 1] below title head [violin part below title head next to centre centred >Violin<] flush right centred >IGOR STRAVINSKY / 1942< flush left centred >Arranged for Violin and Piano by / SOL BABITZ<; legal reservation 1. page of the score below type area centre centred >Copyright, 1943, by Associated Music Publishers, Inc., New York< [violin part in identical text]; production indication 1. page of the score below type area below legal reservation centre centred >Printed in U. S. A.< [violin part in identical text]; plate number flush left >A.S. 194226> [violin part in identical text]; without end mark) // (1944)

* F ill character (dotted line).

64-4 IGOR STRAVINSKY / [°] / Circus Polka / [vignette] / ORCHESTRA SCORE / Price $2.50 / ASSOCIATED MUSIC PUBLISHERS, INC., NEW YORK // (Full score stapled 22.9 x 30.4 (4° [4°]); 32 [32] pages + 4 cover pages green on green grey [front cover title with publisher’s emblem 5.2 x 5.5 female head facing the audience crowned with a lyra centre on stage with raised curtain, 2 empty pages, empty page with centre centred publisher’s emblem 2.1 x 2.6 >AMP-Music<*] without front matter and without back matter; title head >Circus Polka / composed for a young elephant<; author specified 1. page of the score unpaginiet [p. 1] below title head flush right centred >IGOR STRAVINSKY / 1942<; legal reservation 1. page of the score below type area flush left >Copyright, 1944, by Associated Music Publishers, Inc., New York<; production indication 1. page of the score below type area flush right >Printed in U.S.A.<; plate number >A.S. 194343<; without end mark) // (1944)

° Dividing horizontal line of 5 cm, centrally thickening to 0.2 cm.

* The word >Music< stands against the letter >P< vertically underneath the bulge and has as a syllable the same font size as half of a single letter.

64-4Straw

The copy from Strawinsky’s estate is signed >I Strawinsky< in addition to the name >IGOR STRAWINSKY< on the upper part of the outer title page, and contains numerous clarifying annotations intended for the conductor.

64-6St set of parts and separate parts [unidentified].

64-7 IGOR STRAVINSKY / [°] / Circus Polka / [°°] / [vignette] / Net / ● Piano solo [#*] 5/- / Two pianos, four hands [#*] 10/- / SCHOTT EDITION 10149 / SCHOTT & CO., LTD., LONDON / ASSOCIATED MUSIC PUBLISHERS, INC., NEW YORK / Printed in England. // [title page = front cover title] // (Edition unsewn [library binding] 23 x 30.3 (4° [4°]); 9 [8] pages + 4 cover pages thicker paper black on grey-beige [front cover title with centre centred publisher’s emblem 5.1 x 5.8 female head facing the audience crowned with a lyra centre on stage with raised curtain, 1 empty pages, [missing], [missing] ] + 1 page front matter [title page] + 1 page back matter [empty page]; title head >Circus Polka / composed for a young elephant<; author specified 1. page of the score unpaginated [p. 2] below title head flush right centred >IGOR STRAVINSKY / 1942<; legal reservation 1. page of the score below type area centre centred >Copyright 1942, by Associated Music Publishers, Inc. / Assigned to Schott & Co., Ltd. London<; plate number >A.S. 194219<; production indication p. 9 below type area flush right as end mark >Printed in England by Augener Ltd., Acton Lane, London, W.4.<) // (1949)

° Dividing horizontal line of 5.1 cm, centrally thickening to 0.2 cm.

°° Dividing horizontal line of 2.3 cm, centrally thickening to 0.1 cm.

* Fill character (dotted line).

64-7[51] IGOR STRAVINSKY / [°] / Circus Polka / [°°] / [vignette] / Net / ● Piano solo [#]* 5/- / Two pianos, four hands [#]* 10/- / SCHOTT EDITION 10149 / SCHOTT & CO., LTD., LONDON / ASSOCIATED MUSIC PUBLISHERS, INC., NEW YORK / Printed in England. // [title page = front cover title] // (Edition unsewn 23 x 30.4 (4°); 9 [8] pages + 4 cover pages thicker paper black on green-beige [front cover title with centre centred publisher’s emblem 5.1 x 5.8 female head facing the audience crowned with a lyra centre on stage with raised curtain, 2 empty pages, page with publisher’s advertisements >MUSIC FOR PIANO<** without production data] + 1 page front matter [title page] + 1 page back matter [empty page]; title head >Circus Polka / composed for a young elephant<; author specified 1. page of the score unpaginated [p. 2] below title head flush right centred >IGOR STRAVINSKY / 1942<; legal reservation 1. page of the score below type area centre centred >Copyright 1942, by Associated Music Publishers, Inc. / Assigned to Schott & Co., Ltd. London<; plate number >A.S. 194219<; production indication p. 9 above type area flush right as end mark >Printed in England by Augener Ltd., Acton Lane, London, W.4.<)) // [1951]

° Dividing horizontal line of 5.1 cm, centrally thickening to 0.2 cm.

°° Dividing horizontal line of 2.3 cm, centrally thickening to 0.1 cm.

* Fill character (dotted line).

** Compositions are advertised without column divisions by >Paul Hindemith<, >Maurice Ravel<, >Michael Tippett<, >Lennox Berkeley< and names of composers without any titles from >FRANCAIX< to >STANLEY BATES<; Strawinsky not mentioned.

64-8 IGOR STRAVINSKY / [°] / Circus Polka / [°°] / [vignette] / Net / Piano solo [#*] 5/- / ● Two pianos, four hands [#*] 10/- / SCHOTT EDITION 10150 / SCHOTT & CO., LTD., LONDON / ASSOCIATED MUSIC PUBLISHERS, INC., NEW YORK / Printed in England. // (Edition for two pianos [library binding] 23.3 x 30.3 (4° [4°]); 12 [12] pages + 4 cover pages black on yellow beige [front cover title with centre centred publisher’s emblem 5.2 x 5.7 female head facing the audience crowned with a lyra centre on stage with raised curtain, 3 empty pages] without front matter and without back matter + 2. exemplar enclosed; title head >Circus Polka / composed for a young elephant<; author specified 1. page of the score paginated p. 1 below title head flush right centred >IGOR STRAVINSKY / 1942< flush left >Arranged for two pianos / by / VICTOR BABIN<; legal reservation 1. page of the score below type area centre >Copyright 1943 by Associated Music Publishers, Inc. / Assigned to Schott & Co., Ltd. London.<; plate number >A. S. 194225-12<; production indication p. 12 flush right italic as end mark > Printed in England by Angener Ltd., Acton Lane, London, W. 4. <) // (1949)

° Dividing horizontal line of 5.1 cm, centrally thickening to 0.2 cm.

°° Dividing horizontal line of 2.3 cm, centrally thickening to 0.1 cm.

* Fill character (dotted line).

64-9 I. STRAWINSKY° / [picture] / Circus Polka° / Piano Solo # 2 Pianos 4hds. / Edition Schott 4282 # Edition Schott 4283 // Circus Polka / von / Igor Strawinsky / [asterisk] / Piano Solo°° Ed. Schott 4282 / 2 Pianos 4 hds.°° Ed. Schott 4283 / B. SCHOTT'S SÖHNE [#*] SCHOTT & Co. Ltd / MAINZ: Weihergarten 5 [#*] London W.1: 48 Great Marlborough Str. / Paris: Editions Max Eschig [#*] New-York: 25 West 45 th Street / 48 Rue de Rome [#*] Associated Music Publishers Inc. / Printed in Germany – Imprimé en Allemagne // (Edition for piano solo stapled 23.1 x 30 (4°); 9 [8] pages + 4 cover pages light brown red-black on middle yellow-beige angular-veined [front cover title with picture 7.5 x 9.5 of an animal tamer swinging a whip with an elephant straightened up, 2 empty pages, empty page with centre centred publisher’s emblem black oval 2,7 x 3,5 wheel of Mainz in a frame and containing text in bottom half >PER MARE< # >ET TERRAS< left and right] + 1 page front matter [title page] + 3 pages back matter [page with publisher’s advertisements >AUSGEWÄHLTE / NEUE KLAVIER-MUSIK<** production data >8<, 2 empty pages]; title head >Circus Polka / komponiert für einen jungen Elefanten<; author specified 1. page of the score unpaginated [p. 2] below title head flush right centred >Igor Strawinsky / 1942<; legal reservation 1. page of the score below type area flush left >Copyright 1942 by Associated Music Publ. Inc. New York<; plate number >B·S·S 37841<; production indication p. 9 flush right as end mark >Druck u. Verlag von B. Schott's Söhne in Mainz<) // [1951]

° Printed in light brown red.

°° Fill character (dotted line).

* A round separating vignette ø 2 cm covering more than four lines wheel of Mainz in a frame and containing text in bottom half >PER MARE< # >ET TERRAS< left and right.

** Compositions are advertised in three columns with edition numbers behind fill character (dotted line) from >Albeniz, I.< to >Weismann, Julius<, amongst these >Strawinsky, Igor / „L'oiseau de feu“ (Der Feuervogel), / Ballett, daraus einzeln: / Berceuse° 2547 / Ronde des princesses° 2548 / Danse infernale,Berceuse et Finale°° 2378 [° fill character (dotted line); °° without fill character (dotted line) and with accidental conjunction of the two words (e,B)].

64-10 STRAWINSKY / Circus Polka / for Orchestra | für Orchester / Partitur / Score / [vignette] / EDITION SCHOTT / 4274 // Circus Polka / composed for a young elephant [°] komponiert für einen jungen Elefanten / for Orchestra [°] für Orchester / by [°] von / Igor Strawinsky / [asterisk] / Partitur / Score / Orchestral parts on hire – Orchesterstimmen nach Vereinbarung / B. SCHOTT'S SÖHNE · MAINZ / [°°] / Schott & Co., Ltd., London W. 1 [#] Editions Max Eschig, Paris [#] Assoc. Music Publ. Inc., New York / 48 Great Marlborough Street [#] 48 Rue de Rome [#] 25 West 45 th Str. / Printed in Germany – Imprimé en Allemagne // (Pocket score stapled 15 x 22.8 (8°); 32 [32] pages + 4 cover pages black on light grey veined [front cover title with publisher’s emblem light orange oval 1.9 x 2.5 wheel of Mainz in a frame and containing text in bottom half >PER MARE< # >ET TERRAS< left and right, 2 empty pages, page with publisher’s advertisements >Studien-Partituren<* production data >45< + name of the composer and work >STRAWINSKY [#] CIRCUS POLKA< below page right rotated 90 degrees to the right] + 2 pages front matter [title page, legend >Instruments< English + duration data [4’] English] + 2 pages back matter [empty page, page with publisher’s advertisements >Studien-Partituren<** production data >105<]; title head >Circus Polka / composed for a young elephant<; author specified 1. page of the score unpaginated [p. 1] below title head flush right centred >IGOR STRAVINSKY / 1942°°°<; legal reservation 1. page of the score below type area flush left >Copyright, 1944, by Associated Music Publishers, Inc., New York<; plate number B·S·S 38096; production indication p. 32 as flush right end mark >Druck u. Verlag von B. Schott's Söhne, Mainz<) // (1952)

° Separating line vertical, spanning three lines.

°° Dividing horizontal line of 9.4 cm, i.e. column width.

°°° The dating is original.

* Compositions are advertised in three columns with edition numbers behind fill character (dotted line) under the boxed heading >Kammermusik< from >Bach, Joh. Seb.< to >Windsperger, Lothar<; Strawinsky not mentioned. The advert page contains on the upper right-hand side in an oblong a sort of displaced inscription on the back cover (text on spine) >STRAWINSKY CIRCUS POLKA<.

** Compositions are advertised in three columns with edition numbers behind fill character (dotted line) under the boxed heading >Orchesterwerke< from >Albeniz, Isaac< to >Wunsch, Hermann<, amongst these >Strawinsky, Igor / Scherzo fantastique° 3501 / Feuerwerk. Brillante / Fantasie° 3464 / Symphonie in C° 3536 / Symphonie°°° in three / movements° 4075 / Der Feuervogel, Suite°° 3467 / Suite I für kl. Orchester°° 3469 / Suite II f. kl. Orchester°° 3470 / Concerto in Es für / Kammer-Orchester° 3527 / Ragtime für elf Instru- / mente° 3468 / Konzert in D für Vio- / line und Orchester° 3504 / Pastorale für Sopran, / Oboe, Englishhorn, / Klarinette und Fagott°° 3399 / Pribaoutki. Scherz- / lieder für mittlere / Stimme u. 8 Instrum.°° 3465 / Wiegenlieder d. Katze / f. tiefe Frauenstimme / und 3 Klarinetten° 3466<; below the boxed heading >Opern und Ballette< Kompositionen von >Falla, Manuel de< bis >Strawinsky, Igor / Die Geschichte vom / Soldaten, gelesen, / gespielt und getanzt° 3428 / Das Kartenspiel, / Ballett° 3511 / Reinecke, Burleske° 3493< [° fill character (dotted line); °° without fill character (dotted line); °°° original spelling].


K Cat­a­log: Anno­tated Cat­a­log of Works and Work Edi­tions of Igor Straw­in­sky till 1971, revised version 2014 and ongoing, by Hel­mut Kirch­meyer.
© Hel­mut Kirch­meyer. All rights reserved.
https://kcatalog.org and https://kcatalog.net

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