Evening Concert

The Rite of Spring - The 100-Year-Shock Wave


Tonight at 7,  it’s “The Rite of Spring – The 100-Year-Shock-Wave.” It was 100 years ago today that the ballet “The Rite of Spring” had its premiere in Paris. This special features first-hand recollections from composer Stravinsky, conductor Pierre Monteux and by major artists of today. Lengthy excerpts are conducted by Valery Gergiev.

STRAVINSKY: The Rite of Spring (Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra/ Valery Gergiev)

Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring is still provocative and disturbing a centenary (May 29) after its
premiere caused one of the most sensational scandals in artistic history. In this anniversary
documentary, the ballet’s 100 year shock-wave is traced from its initial explosion on May 29th
1913 right up to the present time. First-hand recollections of the famous first night from Dame
Marie Rambert, who was one of the dancers, and Igor Stravinsky, who was in the audience, lead
through to comments on the work’s enduring power from performers of today – dancer Dame
Monica Mason, Dancer Deborah Bull, choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot and conductors
Valery Gergiev, the late Sir Colin Davis and Bernard Keeffe – as well as dance re-constructionist
Millicent Hodson and musicologist and historian Geoffrey Norris.

Stravinsky was a young, virtually unknown composer when Serge Diaghilev recruited him to
create works for the Ballets Russes. The Rite of Spring, with revolutionary choreography by
Vaslav Nijinsky, was the third such project, after the acclaimed The Firebird in 1910 and
Petrushka in 1911. His score contained many features that were novel for its time, including
experiments in tonality, rhythm, metre, stress and dissonance. Analysts have noted a significant
grounding in Russian folk music, a relationship which Stravinsky tended to deny. The music has
influenced many of the 20th century’s leading composers and is one of the most recorded works
in the classical repertoire today.

(notes from our syndicator, WFMT)

at 8:00 it's the Civic Orchestra of Chicago conducted by Cliff Colnot

STRAVINSKY: The Suite from The Firebird  (1919 Version)

BEETHOVEN : Symphony No. 5 in C minor