Notes and Editorial Reviews
'The Rite of Spring,' a raucous ballet from 1913, is one of the great works of the century. Not surprisingly, this score was a favorite of Bernstein's and in this edition of the "Bernstein Century" series it receives one of its most memorable recordings.
Discordant, angular but utterly accessible (since the work has a rich plethora of Russian folk melodies), this ballet--an allegory of spring involving an ancient pagan ritual of human sacrifice--opens on a high and mysterious bassoon line. Within minutes we are plunged into an exotic and violent world punctuated by pounding tympani and a repetitive pattern from the string section. While never failing to keep modern listeners enthralled, the premier performance enraged the Parisian
audience, resulting in shouted abuse and a run for the exits!
The other work on this CD is the 1919 suite version of another of Stravinsky's ballets, 'The Firebird,' from 1910. Though this work is certainly more traditional than 'The Rite of Spring' it has its radical elements as well: the undulating string section that opens the work, its oddly-placed accents and, most of all, its impressionistic harmonies which Debussy, who attended the premiere of the full ballet, greatly admired. Read less
Works on This Recording
Le sacre du printemps by Igor Stravinsky
London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Date of Recording: 04/1972
Venue: London, England
Length: 34 Minutes 33 Secs.
Notes: Composition written: Switzerland (1911 - 1913).
Composition revised: USA (1943).
Firebird Suite by Igor Stravinsky
New York Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century
Date of Recording: 01/28/1957
Venue: St. George Hotel, Brooklyn, New York
Length: 21 Minutes 14 Secs.
Part One - Adoration of the Earth: Introduction. Lento
Games of the Rival Tribes
Procession of the Wise Elders
Part Two - The Sacrifice: Introduction. Largo
Mystical Circles of the Young Girls
Glorification of the Chosen Victim
Summoning of the Ancestors
Sacrificial Dance (The Chosen Victim)
The Firebird and its Dance
Variation of the Firebird
Infernal Dance of King Kashchei
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