Skip to comments.Shocking or Subtle, Still Radical
Posted on 09/19/2012 12:07:39 PM PDT by Borges
On May 15, 1913, at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, just two weeks before the premiere of Stravinskys Rite of Spring provoked a riot among outraged audience members, the Ballets Russes presented the premiere of another daring ballet, also choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky, also conducted by Pierre Monteux. It was Debussys Jeux, the composers last work for orchestra, commissioned by the company director, Sergei Diaghilev. Though not well received, the ballet was much discussed in Parisian cultural circles, until, that is, it was eclipsed by the scandal of the Rite of Spring (Le Sacre du Printemps).
That a piece is shocking or radical does not in itself make it good. Composers can easily be gratuitously shocking or self-consciously radical. Moreover, a backward-seeming artistic departure can actually be a radical development. In the 1960s, when contemporary music seemed to be dominated by intensely complex serialist composers, the arrival of the exuberant Minimalists struck many as a radical shift.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
I have always loved La Sacre. Last year I got to hear it twice in concert: once with the Chicago Symphony and once with the Civic Orchestra (the CSO “training” orchestra. Both performances were outstanding.
There are only a few things by Stravinsky that I like much but this is one.
Nijinsky, Stravinsky and Diaghilev romping in a garden? Might have happened.
It was the choreography and the concepts of Nijinsky’s ballets that were shocking, not the music. Sacre du Printemps was a work for hire, commissioned for Nijinsky’s radical ideas on dance by his patron, Diaghilev.
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The only thing By Igor I can tolerate is “Firebird Suite”.
My taste for clangorous dissonance only goes as far as Prokofieff and Shostakovitch.
Shostakovitch No. 5.
I can listen to that all day. Fond memories.
Written for the Russian revolution. Then again, the Eroica was for Napoleon.......
Shoskatovich is my favorite when it comes to modern Russians.
You don’t like Petroushka? It’s delightful. Stravinsky went all neo-classical in his late 30s. Nothing remotely clangorous. Kind of dull though.
I’ve tried the piano transcription of it once or twice.
Its a showpiece, but doesn’t like under my hands well.
Besides, the only pianist who ever does it justice consistently is Alekhsandr Toradze.