Less than four years separate the premieres of Les Noces and Oedipus Rex, yet they each represent high-points in two distinct phases of Stravinsky's career. Although the concept of Les Noces is highly innovative – a 'dance cantata' – the music remains rooted in Russian folk traditions. Choreographed by Bronislava Nijinska and dedicated to Diaghilev, whose Ballet Russes gave the premiere, it marks the crowning glory of Stravinsky's so-called 'second Russian period'. The opera-oratorio Oedipus Rex is the first great work of Stravinsky's neoclassical period. It was a major change in his compositional style, influenced in part by the loss of 'Russian identity' following his emigration. It is sung in Latin with Jean Cocteau's original French narration spoken here by Gérard Depardieu.
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