Friday, March 20, 2015

Stravinsky's Rite of Spring

In this 2013 BBC Proms performance, Les Siècles Orchestra perform Stravinsky's Rite of Spring (“Le sacre du printemps”), with  François-Xavier Roth at the podium. The orchestra, from France, was formed in the summer of 2003 by François-Xavier Roth.

As its website says:
With a vast period-instrument collection at its disposal, spanning the baroque, classical, romantic and modern eras, the orchestra’s repertoire is notably wide in range. Les Siècles is one of a small number of ensembles to employ period and modern instruments, playing each repertoire on appropriate instruments. Its flexible and historically informed work delivers a unique strand of creative programming.
The piece premiered at Paris’s Théâtre des Champs-Élysées on May 29, 1913; it caused quite a lot of controversy, Wikipedia notes:
It was written for the 1913 Paris season of Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes company; the original choreography was by Vaslav Nijinsky, with stage designs and costumes by Nicholas Roerich. When first performed, at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées on 29 May 1913, the avant-garde nature of the music and choreography caused a sensation and a near-riot in the audience. Although designed as a work for the stage, with specific passages accompanying characters and action, the music achieved equal if not greater recognition as a concert piece, and is widely considered to be one of the most influential musical works of the 20th century.
Spring officially begins in the northern hemisphere with the March or vernal equinox at 22;45 UTC, or here in Toronto at 18:45, or 6:45 p.m. EDT. An enjoyable, meaningful and green spring to one and all.

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