Why did Stravinsky compose the rite of spring?

They wanted to establish a nationalist, Russian identity. A powerful mover among them was Stravinsky’s teacher, Rimsky-Korsakov. Rimsky had been a member of the so-called “Mighty Handful,” a group of adventurous, original young composers who began writing music that sounded truly Russian.

Why was The Rite of Spring written?

It was written for the 1913 Paris season of Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes company; the original choreography was by Vaslav Nijinsky with stage designs and costumes by Nicholas Roerich.

Where did Stravinsky get inspiration for The Rite of Spring?

Amid this heady Zeitgeist, Stravinsky was struck with inspiration: “One day, when I was finishing the last pages of L’Oiseau de feu [The Firebird] in St. Petersburg, I had a fleeting vision […] I saw in imagination a solemn pagan rite: sage elders, seated in a circle, watched a young girl dance herself to death.

What is the message of rite of spring?

In his handwritten version of the story, Stravinsky described The Rite as “a musical choreographic work. It represents pagan Russia and is unified by a single idea: the mystery and the great surge of the creative power of spring….”

What did the introduction to Part I of The Rite of Spring represent to Stravinsky?

In a note to the conductor Serge Koussevitzky in February 1914, Stravinsky described The Rite of Spring as “a musical-choreographic work, [representing] pagan Russia . . . unified by a single idea: the mystery and great surge of the creative power of Spring”.

What was the impact of The Rite of Spring?

The Rite of Spring influenced 20th century composers from Bartok and Stockhausen to Steve Reich and the American minimalists. Within a year of the premiere, the score was hailed by critics and audiences as a masterpiece.

Why was The Rite of Spring so controversial?

At the premiere of the ballet in 1913, a riot began amongst members of the audience. Historians believe that it was the choreography created by dancer Vaclav Nijinsky that provoked the majority of controversy rather than Stravinsky’s score. You can watch a clip from the ballet below.

What was radical about Rite of Spring?

She is caught in an unstoppable rhythmic vortex from which there is only one way out: through the terrible dissonance that ends the piece, and the single chord that kills her. This is music that manages to sound both mechanistic and elemental, making The Rite as radical in 2013 as it was 100 years ago.

Why is The Rite of Spring shocking?

Stravinsky himself believed that the crowd “came for Scheherazade or Cleopatra, and they saw the Sacre du Printemps”, and were therefore upset at the level of dissonance in the score, the jerky movements of the dancers and the rapidly twittering sounds from the woodwind section.