Begun in Biarritz at the end of 1922 and completed in Paris on May 20, 1923, the “Wind Octet” is a work from the neoclassical period in which Stravinsky uses sonata form and, for the first time, the variation.
After the “Concertino”, Stravinsky temporarily abandoned the strings, composing at the same time the “Wind Symphonies” and “Mavra” in which the orchestra uses a minimum of string instruments.
In the Octet, as in these other works, the use of winds serves the construction of the work: “The first movement was written first, then the waltz of the second movement from which the theme derived, which seemed to me a good pretext for variations.
The last of the variations, the fugato, is the culmination of everything I tried to do in this movement and is certainly the most interesting episode of the Octet. Indeed, the theme is played in turn by the instruments two by two (flute, clarinet, bassoons, trumpets, trombones) according to the main idea which is at the origin of the work… The third movement is derived from the fugato and was intended to be, by contrast, the climax of the whole piece. I must have had in mind Johann Sebastian Bach’s Two-part Inventions, as I had in the last movement of my Piano Sonata… “(Igor Stravinsky).
I ] Sinfonia: Lento, Allegro moderato
II] Tema con variazioni
III] Finale: tempo giusto