Tag Archive | "The Rite of Spring"

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What’s happened in May 1913, when première The Rite of Spring of Igor Stravinsky

Posted on 28 May 2013 by admin

Stravinsky Conducts Stravinsky: Petrushka / Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring)

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It was the evening of 29 May 1913, 100 years ago, when Paris’s Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, under the baton of Pierre Monteux, presented the first performance of Igor Stravinsky’s ballet, Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring). The audience, packed into the newly-opened Théâtre des Champs-Élysées to the point of standing room only, had neither seen nor heard anything like it. By the time the curtain rose to reveal ballet dancers stomping the stage, the protests had reached a crescendo. The orchestra and dancers, choreographed by the legendary Vaslav Nijinsky, continued but it was impossible to hear the music above what Stravinsky described as a “terrific uproar”.  As a riot ensured, two factions in the audience attacked each other, then the orchestra, which kept playing under a hail of vegetables and other objects. Forty people were forcibly ejected. As the audience erupted, Diaghilev called for calm and flashed the house lights on and off, while Nijinsky was forced to call out steps to the dancers as the beat of the music was drowned out by the riotous cacophony. Even now there is debate over whether the audience reaction was spontaneous or the work of outraged traditionalists armed with vegetables who had come looking for trouble.

The reviews were merciless. “The work of a madman … sheer cacophony,” wrote the composer Puccini. “A laborious and puerile barbarity,” added Le Figaro’s critic, Henri Quittard.  It was, according to some of those present – who included Marcel Proust, Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein, Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy – the sound of derisive laughter.

Today, the piece has gone from rioting to rave reviews and is widely considered one of the most influential musical works of the 20th century.  Since then The Rite has been adapted for and included in an estimated 150 productions around the world.

Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring

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Simon Rattle & The Berlin Philharmoniker New Release on EMI, The Rite of Spring

Posted on 22 March 2013 by admin

The Rite of Spring, is a ballet and orchestral concert work by the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky, it is regard as one  of the greatest work of the 20th century. The first gramophone disc recordings of The Rite were issued was in 1929. As of 2012 there are well over 100 different recordings of The Rite commercially available, and many more held in library sound archives. It has became one of the most recorded of all 20th century musical works. Sir Simon Rattle said: “It is probably no accident that Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, which is really the seminal work of the 20th century in so many ways … Stravinsky talked of trying to recapture the violence, the sense of the earth cracking open, that he witnessed every spring in Russia…but on a deeper level, it’s a musical metaphor for the vessel of an exhausted era cracking open.”

Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring (Le sacre du printemps)

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