04/20/15 Stravinsky and The Rite of Spring: A Musical Riot

Food for thought:
– Have you ever heard a song or type of music that you hated at first, then grew to like over time?
– Have you known of a musician or band who changed their style drastically and got a negative reaction from fans at first?

Ballet: originated Italy during the Renaissance, but developed and was most popular in France and Russia.

Perhaps the best-known ballet music today is by the Russian Romantic-era composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, who wrote the Nutcracker and Swan Lake.

Swan Lake: 1876

Nutcracker: Waltz of the Flowers 1892

Nutcracker: Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

Igor Stravinsky, 1882-1971, Russian

His early ballets were tonal and popular…

Firebird: 1910

Petrushka 1911

But then:

The Rite of Spring: 1913

The piece begins by pushing boundaries: can you guess which instrument is heard at the very beginning?

Then after 2:30, the fun begins…

Rite of Spring caused a riot in the audience at its premiere in 1913.


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