Debussy and Stravinsky


8th November, 1913

Don’t fall to the ground, Dear Friend, it is only me!!! Of course, if we begin, you wishing to understand and I to explain why I haven’t written yet, our hair will fall out. And then, something marvellous is happening here: at least once a day everyone talks about you. Your friend Chouchou has composed a fantasy on Petroushka which would make tigers roar… I have threatened her with torture, but she goes on, insisting that you will “find it very beautiful.” So, how could you suppose that we are not thinking of you?

Our reading at the piano of Le Sacre du Printemps, at Laloy’s house, is always present in my mind. It haunts me like a beautiful nightmare and I try, in vain, to reinvoke the terrific impression.

That is why I wait for the stage performance like a greedy child impatient for promised sweets.

As soon as I have a good proof copy of Jeux I will send it to you… I would love to have your opinion on this “badinage in three parts” : while speaking of Jeux, you were surprised that I chose this title to which you preferred The Park. I beg you to believe that Jeux is better, first because it is more appropriate, and then because it more nearly invokes the “horrors” that occur among these three characters.

When are you coming to Paris, so one may at last play good music?

Very affectionately from us three to you and your wife,

Your very old friend,

Claude Debussy

“Conversations with Igor Stravinsky” – Igor Stravinsky and Robert Craft.

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