PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Monday, December 3, 2012

Stravinsky’s ‘Rite Of Spring’ Turns 100

Composer Igor Stravinsky is shown in New York City in February 1946. (AP)

In May of 2013, composer Igor Stravinsky‘s landmark work “The Rite of Spring” turns 100 years old. Already, there have been conferences and performances all over the world to celebrate.

Why is this music still considered so groundbreaking?

Composer Igor Stravinsky conducts the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in April 1962. (AP)

“It’s pounding, it’s repetitive, it has harmonies that nobody had ever heard before, and some people never want to hear again,” Harvard music professor Thomas Kelly told Here & Now’s Robin Young. “I think it’s one of the most beautiful pieces in the world.”

Stravinsky, who was born in Russia in 1882, composed the work for the Ballets Russes (Russian Ballet). The premiere in 1913, at the Théâtre des Champs Elysée in Paris, caused a near riot.

“Stravinsky’s taking what’s really the most sophisticated instrument that was available at that time, the modern symphony orchestra, and he’s using it to depict the most savage and barbaric of pagan rituals…a young woman dancing herself to death,” said Jeremy Eichler, classical music critic for The Boston Globe. “It’s that tension that I think makes the work stick with us.”

Stravinsky died in New York in 1971 at age 88.

We take a listen to Stravinsky’s piece and consider its impact.

Hear “The Rite of Spring” performed by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra:

Guests:


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

September 1 12 Comments

Favorite Son Hopes To Revive Michigan Football

The story of what's happened at Michigan over the last decade plays out in a new book by John Bacon.

September 1 3 Comments

Living With ALS In The Ice Bucket Age

Corey Reich was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease in 2007 when he was 21. Now 29, he continues to do well.

August 31 Comment

Adapting ‘The Boys In The Boat’ For Young Adult Readers

Daniel James Brown decided to adapt his book after an increasing number of young people told him they loved the story.

August 28 Comment

DJ Session: The Music Of New Orleans, 10 Years After Katrina

Nick Spitzer talks about the music that has resonated in the city since the storm, and how the music scene has changed.