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.
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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.