Rite of Spring Centennial Round-up

Last week saw the one hundredth anniversary of the premiere of Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring,” which caused a riot(ish) at its premiere at the  Théâtre des Champs-Élysées on 29 May 1913. As a result, analyses and tributes appeared all over the web. Here are some of our favorites.

Le sacre du printemps - medici.tv
Le sacre du printemps – medici.tv

First though, if – somehow – you’re not familiar with the ballet, take the time to check it out. Video of the ballet, choreographed by Uwe Scholz, is available in beautiful HD – both a version for two pianos and one for orchestra – on medici.tv.  Naxos Music Library has dozens of versions to suit every taste streaming. Streaming databases are available even off-campus with your MyAladin login. If you’re around campus this summer, we have quite a few copies on CD, including my favorite, Pierre Boulez conducting the Cleveland Orchestra (CD 6348).

The Guardian took the lead on comprehensive Rite of Spring coverage, discussing the work from multiple perspectives: the music, the dance, and its place in the history of culture.

NPR always has excellent arts coverage, and their tour through the premiere performace with Michael Tilson Thomas as a guide was no exception. They also put out a call for RoS-inspired videos from their listeners, who responded in force.

It was also a good time to revisit one of my favorite Radiolab segments from all the way back in their second season, in which they discuss how challenging music like the Rite of Spring literally re-wires our brains (starts at about 8:00).

And finally, many outlets highlighted these stunning visualizations by Stephen Malinowski.