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The Rite of Spring @ 100

  • 29-05-2013 11:39am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 12,622 ✭✭✭✭ bnt


    Today's the centenary of the first performance of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, an event which has become part of classical music legend. The BBC has an article commemorating the debut, asking did The Rite of Spring really spark a riot? Depends on who you talk to. According to the composer, the trouble started "when the curtain opened on the group of knock-kneed and long-braided Lolitas jumping up and down".

    I have been in the front row of the NCH while the RTE NSO cranked out the RoS at full whack: who needs Heavy Metal, eh? :cool:

    The history of military conflict in Afghanistan [has] been one of initial success, followed by long years of floundering and ultimate failure. We’re not going to repeat that mistake.

    -- President George W. Bush, in a speech at the Virginia Military Institute.



Comments



  • Probably the most important piece of music of the last hundred years. Apparently stories regarding the riot at the premiere were grossly exaggerated (some would say by the composer himself!) in an attempt to further publicize the work. Had to listen to the full work today with the day that was in it.




  • I don't mean to be pedantic or anything but what Mr. Stravinsky was hi-lights
    was 1/2 of the event the Le Sacre, it was not just a piece of music,
    but a music fused with dance in a ballet setting.
    We must not forget that the dance, movement, steps, narrative & characters
    depicted were a big part of the scandal also and that it must not be forgotten
    that the Rite as a work of art was a fusion of these art forms.
    So when we talk about the Rite we must remember the original conception
    on how shocking it was as a ballet,
    and in relation to what had happened previously in the Paris ballet scene.

    In this case the shock was a double blow of the two art forms into a fusion,
    and manifestation of an avant-garde approach in both genres of art.




  • True but it says a lot about a piece of music when it can stand alone as a concert work on it's own. Nijinsky's choreography was certainly very striking based on some of the recreations I have seen, especially when mixed with the original costumes. What an amazing night it must have been.




  • The Guardian has an article by composer George Benjaminm with a more musicological analysis of the piece:
    From start to finish The Rite of Spring exalts in a new and explosive sense of musical movement. Not the subtle interplay of periodic symmetries typical of the classical era, nor the curvaceous, subjective flexibility in the flow of time that romanticism relished.

    Stravinsky's rhythms pound and batter; though highly irregular they are still pulsed – and pulsed in such a novel way that the score required innovations in musical notation to make Stravinsky's invention playable.
    Plus, in case anyone's in need of a refresher:

    The history of military conflict in Afghanistan [has] been one of initial success, followed by long years of floundering and ultimate failure. We’re not going to repeat that mistake.

    -- President George W. Bush, in a speech at the Virginia Military Institute.



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