➤ The Rite that caused a riot: shocking in 1913, thrilling still

A section of a facsimile of Stravinsky’s manuscript for Rite of Spring, which was published this year to mark the centenary

Section of a facsimile of Stravinsky’s manuscript for The Rite of Spring, which was published this year to mark the centenary

❚ IF IT’S GOOD ENOUGH FOR The Guardian’s front page 100 years after the event, readers of Shapersofthe80s will want to know about it. Here’s a fulsome appreciation by the leading British composer George Benjamin on the pivotal piece of music which was premiered 100 years ago today in Paris by Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, why it caused a riot by the audience and became a model for masters who followed…

➢ How Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring has shaped 100 years of music – from today’s Guardian: Piece first performed in Paris exactly 100 years ago emblematic of era of great scientific, artistic and intellectual ferment

The Rite of Spring was a revolutionary work for a revolutionary time. Its first performance in Paris, exactly 100 years ago, was a key moment in cultural history – a tumultuous scandal. Written on the eve of the first world war and the Russian revolution, the piece is the emblem of an era of great scientific, artistic and intellectual ferment. No composer since can avoid the shadow of this great icon of the 20th century, and score after score by modern masters would be unthinkable without its model… / Continued at Guardian Online

➢ The Rite live tomorrow night on BBC Radio 3

Choreographer and dancer Vaslav Nijinsky, left, in the original Rite of Spring performed by the Ballets Russes

Choreographer and dancer Vaslav Nijinsky, left, in the original Rite of Spring performed by the Ballets Russes

➢ Did The Rite of Spring really spark a riot? – BBC News Magazine:

Lydia Sokolova, one of the dancers said the audience came prepared: “They had got themselves all ready. They didn’t even let the music be played for the overture. As soon as it was known that the conductor was there, the uproar began,” she said in an interview recorded in 1965… / Continued at BBC Online

Igor Stravinsky on The Rite: “The 8-notes chord is new, but the accents are even more new ... Give it 100 years”

Igor Stravinsky on The Rite: “The 8-notes chord is new, but the accents are even more new … Give it 100 years”

❏ Robert Craft, now aged 89, the composer’s American confidant, wrote this immaculate summary of Stravinsky for 1000 Makers of Music (Sunday Times 1997):
In 1913, The Rite of Spring changed the rhythmic language of music: it is an epicentre of 20th-century modernism. Stravinsky’s music range widely, from the exaltation of Symphony of Psalms to the farcical fun of Renard, from the tenderness of Pulcinella, the deeply felt love-music of The Rake’s Progress to the grace of Apollo. The music is lyrical both in dramatic forms (Oedipus Rex) and purely instrumental (the violin-piano Dithyramb), and all of it dances as it sings. The ludic element (Circus Polka) is considerable, but much less so than the religious (Mass) and the humanist (Petrushka). Stravinsky’s influence is alive and immeasurable. He once said: “Music is the best means we have for digesting time.”

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