Music: Contrapuntal Bones

The musical explorations of Igor Stravinsky, e.g., The Rite of Spring, once got him branded as a wild-eyed futurist. Long since overtaken on the innovation front, he has for many years now been burrowing back into the musical past—but as an explorer still.

Last week, to the mingled horror, delight and bemusement of a capacity (2,500) crowd in U.C.L.A.'s Royce Hall, Stravinsky conducted the Los Angeles Chamber Symphony Orchestra in the world première of his newest work—a Cantata based on the Flemish and Burgundian styles of the isth and 16th centuries. The lyrics of...

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