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Igor Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring"
Transcript of Igor Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring"
from my childhood... The cartoon is from Disney's "Fantasia" (1940)
and inspired me to pick this topic. Igor Stravinsky Introduction The Piece Itself Historical
Significance About this Project Origins Composition Premiere Legacy 1882-1971 Stravinsky's career truly began
when he met Sergei Diaghilev. In 1910, Stravinsky had a fleeting vision
of a pagan ritual. The next couple years were spent
composing "The Rite of Spring." In terms of music theory,
"The Rite of Spring" has proven
a challenge to analyze. However, there are a few points
that experts agree on. Octatonic scales provide a reference
point for much of the piece's harmonic
material. The "Augurs Chord" is one such example. This chord also contains its own ostinato (a repeating musical pattern). "The Rite of Spring" is particularly innovative
in regards to rhythm. The piece's harmonic strength comes from the contrasts between dissonance and consonance. In sum: using repeated harmonic elements
(based on "formulas") while rapidly changing rhythmic
elements creates enough contrast to sustain the work. In a few places, musical elements reflect
the plot. Stravinsky paid homage to Russia
by incorporating folk melodies into the fabric
of the work (albeit vaguely). The composition and role of the orchestra
was significantly altered as well. "The Rite of Spring" was first performed
at the Theater des Champs-Elysees in Paris
on May 29, 1913. The performance resulted in a riot. Stravinsky was especially
unhappy with Nijinsky's choreography. Naturally, reviews were mixed, but grew more favorable with time. The piece was a turning point for Stravinsky's career, and he revisited it many times. The piece is considered a "treatise on rhythm" and has generated many competing analyses. Commentators have also applauded the piece's emotional power and symbolism. "The Rite of Spring" influenced many diverse composers, from Maurice Ravel to Steve Reich to John Williams. For me, the best resources were books & journals. I think I could have benefited
from finding more sources,
particularly the score. My concept map changed....