100 Years Later, Igor Stravinsky Still Rocks The House
Much is made about the age of the music most orchestras play. Yes, new music is commissioned and performed, but the vast majority of what you hear is by composers who are long gone either by decades or centuries.
In my opinion, though the composer may no longer live, the music does,and when musicians begin to unlock what has been written, the music becomes a living, breathing entity, communicating across cultures and times to speak to us.
As I write this, I am listening to something that not only comes to life when the orchestra begins to play, it is almost as though it is trying to beat the door down, escape it’s paper prison, and roam the streets under it’s own power.
Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring is 100 years old this year, but it sounds like tomorrow.
While most music is imprinted with the era in which it was written, Stravinsky’s Rite defies dating. It is as though a copy of the score was hidden in the coat pocket of Dorian Gray. The world around it grows and changes, but the Rite remains fresh and youthful.
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the premiere of the Rite of Spring, the amazing recording by the New York Philharmonic with Leonard Bernstein has been remastered and re-released with fabulous photographs and artwork included. I can only imagine Stravinsky’s response upon hearing the recording? It would have to be an emphatic “Wow!” I believe yours will be the same.
The video above allows you to watch the conductor’s score as the first six tableau are played
Take a look at Leonard Bernstein rehearse a youth orchestra for a Rite of Spring performance. The entire video is here.