Rite of Spring turns 100

One hundred years ago this week, a ballet premiered that changed the art world. Igor Stravinsky‘s Le Sacre du Printemps — The Rite of Spring — was first seen by the public on May 29, 1913, in Paris. My first introduction to the Rite of Spring by Stravinsky was during my sophomore year in college.  I remember hearing the music for the first time.  The opening is eerie and haunting.  I think we had to memorize that bassoon melody.  Pretty sure we did, actually.  (I am a music teacher and pianist). As the piece continues, the music morphs and keeps morphing and morphing.  The orchestra becomes a percussion instrument.  I could imagine the dancers throwing themselves around the stage to this energetic and extremely harmonically and rhythmically complex music. But the best part was this:  I was amazed to hear that this ballet caused the audience to riot at the premiere in Paris!!  What the heck?

English: Kiss to the Earth. 2nd variant. Scene...
English: Kiss to the Earth. 2nd variant. Scenery sketch. 1912 (from a reproduction) For Diaghilev’s production, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Paris, 1913 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NPR posted several articles in honor of this historic event: “The Rite felt completely different. And that has remained a very powerful influence,” Ross says. “Even the youngest composers coming to the fore today listen to The Rite and think, ‘my God.’ It still sounds new to them.”  (quote from the article link below written by Tom Vitale)

Then The Curtain Opened: The Bracing Impact Of Stravinsky’s ‘Rite

Watch A Mind-Blowing Visualization Of ‘The Rite Of Spring’

Through this visualization, you can start to follow and understand the composer’s dazzlingly dense interplays of melody, instrumentation and the relationships between the instruments.  by ANASTASIA TSIOULCAS http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=02tkp6eeh40 And here you can watch the legendary Leonard Bernstein direct the final few minutes of this amazing piece.


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I am a pianist, musician, music teacher, choir director, mother, wife, daughter, sister, cousin, sister-in-law, friend, neighbor. I enjoy music (of course!), quilting, sewing, beading, traveling, kayaking, camping, biking, hiking, gardening, knitting, scrapbooking, cooking, reading, poetry, drinking good coffee, and having fun with family and friends. NOTE -- Creative Commons License: All work of The Tromp Queen (quirkyjazz, aka Jill) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 Unported License.

One thought on “Rite of Spring turns 100”

  1. Hi! Thank you for stopping by Lessons by Heart and following. You have many of the same passions and interests as I do – music, singing, crafts, and faith. It’s fun to see what combination of skills and gifts there are around Blogville!

    Praise Jesus!

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