When Igor Stravinsky read The Soldier s Tale in 1916 he was inspired to transform the fairy tale into a landmark of modern musical theatre, together with the librettist Charles Ferdinand Ramuz. The effects of war could also be felt in Switzerland, where Stravinsky was living in exile, and all the theatres were closed. The piece was therefore created with purely practical considerations in mind a mobile stage, a minimal 7-piece orchestra and a plot in which the scenes followed each other like a series of illustrations. The story is taken from a Russian folk tale, but there are parallels in other cultures, such as the puppet show version of Doctor Faustus. A soldier on the way back to his home village enters into a pact with the devil. He sells his violin for a book of magic, which will enable him to become rich. Although this comes to pass, the soldier s wealth does not make him happy, because someone who has sold himself to the devil is not capable of love or devotion to another. This version has been developed and narrated by Dominique Horwitz from the German adaptation by Hans Reinhart.