KN5 Какъ грибы на войну собирались 
Die Pilze ziehen in den Krieg für Bass und Klavier - Les champignons vont à la guerre - The Mushrooms Going to War
Remarks: This incomplete song for bass, left behind in Strawinsky’s estate, was not intended for publication. Strawinsky wrote it in 1904 in St Petersburg with the final date 26th December and dedicated it to his teacher, Rimsky-Korsakov. The text is attributed to a fictional poet, Kosma Prutkov, under whose name many aphorisms and poems had been published since 1854; these are predominantly parodies of “abgesunkenes Kulturgut” (déclassé cultural assets) with deeper meaning. The pseudonym Prutkov was used by the literary society of Alexei Tolstoy, Alexei Alexander and Vladimir Shemtschushnikov. The text of the song has a political background. In Germany there existed a literary discussion of its own about it*. Strawinsky cared so little about the song that he did not once look at it when the incomplete neat copy was sent to him. The work was published in 1979 after Strawinsky's death by Boosey & Hawkes in London. Attributing Strawinsky’s later lack of interest to artistic reasons would fall short of reality. The text was aimed at the tsar and belonged to the pre-revolutionary context of 1917. Meanwhile, Lenin and Stalin had come to power and compared to their crimes the tsarist governance came to be considered almost human, especially after the loss of home, property and financial assets that Strawinsky has undergone. Thus, it is quite probable that he did not wish to be reminded of his former criticism of the tsar and simply left the fragment in its envelope. The autograph is stored in the Paul Sacher Stiftung, Basel.
* Wilhelm Schlüter: Pilze in der Ernsten Musik, in: Der Tintling. Die Pilzzeitung, XV/62, pp. 43-52, 2010; Hagen Graebner: Wie die Pilze in den Krieg ziehen wollten, in: Der Tintling, Heft 1/2011, pp. 56-57; Martin Wagner: Pilzkrieg im Zarenreich. Eine Replik zum Beitrag von HAGEN GRAEBNER im Tintling 1/2011, in: Der Tintling 2 (2011), pp. 188[a]-189[b] [with bibliography].
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.
http://www.kcatalog.org and http://www.kcatalog.net