Sunday, August 11, 2013

Stravinsky's Rites of Spring

Reading a score is like reading a map, musical notation is simply a series of symbols (staff, clef, note, articulation marking, etc.) that when combined together, visualize information - in this case aural info.

Rites of Spring by Igor Stravinsky


Almost no musical work has had such a powerful influence or evoked as much controversy as Igor Stravinsky's ballet score “The Rite of Spring”. The work's premiere on May 29, 1913, at the Théatre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, was scandalous. In addition to the outrageous costumes, unusual choreography and bizarre story of pagan sacrifice, Stravinsky's music itself was angular, dissonant and totally unpredictable. It redefined 20th-century music, much as Beethoven's Eroica had transformed music a century before.

About the Composition

Stravinsky's  Rites of Spring is one of the most powerful pieces of music I have ever heard. Jarring, dissonant and chaotic to many, I think it is an absolute masterpiece... penned by an innovative--yet methodical--genius.

From the opening eerily haunting bassoon solo...

...to it's percussive ostinatos and unexpected offbeat accents...
...the music evokes a powerful and compelling emotional reaction and vividly portrays through music, an imagery of pagan wild abandon and violent motion.

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