Rite of Spring Turns 100!

May 29, 2013: 100th Birthday of Rite of Spring
One of my favorite composers. The RofS is still as brilliant, stunning and fresh as it was when it blew the doors open at the Opera de Paris in 1913.

Wednesday, May 29 will mark the 100 anniversary of the premiere of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.

So why do we care?

Because this premiere was a game-changer. Many scholars would argue that, along with the premiere of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, no other work in this history of Western music had the seismic effect that Rite of Spring had at its premiere.

What happened at the premiere?

Stravinsky’s conception for Rite came to him as he was finishing The Firebird in 1910. He had a vision of “a solemn pagan rite; wise elders, seated in a circle, watching a young girl dance herself to death. They were sacrificing her to propitiate the god of spring.” Stravinsky knew that Nicholas Roerich, a friend who was an archeologist and an authority on the ancient Slavs, would be interested in his idea, and he mentioned it to him. Stravinsky also shared the vision with…

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About kurtnemes
Writer and Education Professional. Specialties include Ethics, Personal Memoir, Classical music, Tai Chi, Stress Reduction, Meditation, Coping, Classical Music, Aging, Love, Joy, Compassion and Equanimity (& what interests me.)

6 Responses to Rite of Spring Turns 100!

  1. Carl says:

    Like all good art, this piece grows on you. It’s difficult to appreciate with the first several listens, but it gets better and better with each additional listen.


    • kurtnemes says:

      I have a confession: I like Petrouschka better. I think it has much more moving melodies.


      • Carl says:

        Yes, Petrouchka is quite different, more of the Russian sourced folk tunes. The Rite is definitely lacking in melody, but incredibly rich in harmony, orchestration, and rhythm.


      • Carl says:

        Of course, Firebird is another one with more melodic treatment, but my favorite Stravinsky is from his neo-classic period – it haunts you and has the clarity of Mozart, though not the genius.


      • kurtnemes says:

        I’m very partial to Histoire du Soldat and haven’t listened to his neo-classical, except Pulchinella suite, which is sweet. What else do you recommend?


      • Carl says:

        One of my favorite 20th Century pieces is Symphonies of Winds. Symphony in 3 Movements is excellent. I also like Symphony in C.


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