Date: Saturday 27 April 2013
Saturday, April 27th, 2013, 6pm, Popejoy Hall
Celebrating 100 years of The Rite of Spring
Andrew Grams, conductor
5pm, Pre-Concert Lecture sponsored by Lieber’s Luggage
Please join us as we celebrate 100 years of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. This work’s premiere is considered the pivotal moment in the birth of 20th century music, and the Paris premiere in which the fabled riot broke out, is one of the most sensational events in music history. The opening bassoon solo confused the audience, as it was written very high in the bassoon’s register, thereby making the instrument almost unrecognizable. Then the dancing started, and the audience was certainly not prepared for the choreography that was used to depict a sacrificial rite. Fistfights erupted in the audience; the music was almost completely drowned out by the shouting; there are tales of the choreographer calling out numbers for the dancers so they could follow the choreography since the music was inaudible over the din of the rioting audience; and the producer resorted to flipping the house lights on and off to try and restore order. Pierre Monteux, the conductor, remained completely unfazed by the commotion and continued conducting as if nothing were wrong. Stravinsky was furious and stormed out, slamming the door behind him. The orchestral suite, which we will hear tonight, caused no such ruckus, and when it premiered a year later, Stravinsky was carried out on the shoulders of his supporters. Please join us in the celebration of this landmark work, as well as two other mainstays in the orchestral repertoire, Copland’s Appalachian Spring and Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun.