A soldier returning from war trades his violin to the devil in exchange for untold riches.
(It doesn’t go well.)
Igor Stravinsky, mostly known for his ground breaking ballet scores, composed The Soldier’s Tale early in 1918 in an attempt to produce an entertainment for a small group of musicians, actors and dancers, one that would not require an elaborate production and could be easily portable.
A number of musical influences can be detected in “The Soldier’s Tale” including Russian folk music, Spanish popular music and elements of American ragtime (which he had begun to absorb from sheet music, but had never heard). Though only scored for seven instruments, the fiendish syncopations and shifts of meter and accent throughout the piece require the help of a conductor. Jeffrey Pollock conducts and Jennifer Walton, of Dundas’ Creative Theatre Company, directs and plays the role of the devil. Local dance company Aeris Körper contributes new choreography by Lisa Emmons performed by Mayumi Lashbrook.