Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Volcanic Reception of Le Sacre du Printemps

Le Sacre du Printemps is probably the most influential composition written in the twentieth century. This ballet has caused much controversy in the world of dance and music ever since it came on the scene in 1913. It was premiered in Paris and , I feel, it was wrong on Stravinsky's part to open this ballet in Paris. It turned a French audience into an excited and frustrated irate mob. They were highly disturbed after its premier performance. It was almost in the running for sparking the First World War that was just a year's throw away. Stravinsky worked on this ballet at his estate, Oustiloug, in Russia. He used many folk songs in this ballet; from the lot that he had compiled in his notebook. The audience jeered at the revolutionary opening measures of this ballet. Now, when we look back, it is a spark from a genius. This is the definitive performance of this ballet by Pierre Boulez. It took place in Paris in 2002. Boulez has also given a stunning account earlier of Le Sacre with Cleveland Orchestra in 1976.


  1. As with all great art, The Rite Of Spring not only was a milestone in the evolution of serious music, it was a harbinger of the coming destruction of the world order of the times. A foretaste of the chaos of the first world war, which was but a prelude to even worse destruction and death of the second world war twenty years later.

  2. Yes. I did mention that the score was just a year's throw away from the First World War.