The Rite of Spring

Composer’s intentions and typical interpretations often vary.

For instance, in the Disney movie Fantasia there is a section about the early days of earth, including the Dinosaurs. It’s represented by Igor Stravinsky’s masterpiece The Rite of Spring.

Hello? The Rite of Spring almost incited riots at its premiere. It’s about a pagan sacrifice. From WP (emphasis mine):

At its premiere, there were loud arguments in the audience between supporters and opponents of the work. This eventually degenerated into a near-riot, which has made it one of the most notorious premieres in music history. It has been suggested that the disruption was as much due to Vaslav Nijinsky’s choreography and the overall scenario (which was about pagan sacrifice, rather than the usual genteel ballet themes) as it was to Stravinsky’s frequently brutal and violent music. Another possibility for the disruption could have been due to actions taken by a group in the audience, recruited and paid by Stravinsky’s detractors, placed there to transform the premiere into a colossal failure. Stravinsky himself was so upset at its reception that he fled the theater in mid-scene.

If you get a chance to listen to this song, do it. It’s about 30 minutes long—but nothing short of genius. One of the first songs to emphasize rhythm over harmony. The Rite of Spring truly changed the world.


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One Response to The Rite of Spring

  1. Stephanie says:

    The odd thing is while I was reading this entry, that song was the next one on my playlist. Weird.

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