Stravinsky's Rite of Spring

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Igor Stravinsky’s

Rite of Spring

-MUS 337

-Emily Costin
In the early 20th century, many composers were beginning to not be so pleased with the status quo of what Romanticism had set for them. Composers such as Arnold Schoenberg and Claude Debussy began to experiment with new ways or writing music. They began to experiment with new sounds, textures, idea’s, compositional techniques, etc. They, as well as other composers, reached success in their own ways, yet the world of music was still set in their generally Romantic ways. It took a true compositional giant to rock the world of music forever, and such a piece of music came on May 23rd, 1913 with Igor Stravinsky’s strikingly famous ballet The Rite of Spring. The ballet premiered in Paris, and the performances primitive dance moves, dark music, and somewhat scary demeanor sent the audience into a full blown riot, and simultaneously into a whole new era of music. The Rite of Spring is undoubtedly one of the literary masterpieces that shifted classical music from the Romantic style into what we now consider the Modern style. Igor Stravinsky was born in Jume of 1886 in Oranienbaum, Russia. Stravinsky grew up n a musical household, his father being one of the leading basses of his day. Being surrounded by music at a young age, he started piano lessons at age nine, yet he was never considered much of a prodigy like expected. He was scorned from learning theory and composition at a young age, as well as for spending most of his time improvising rather than practicing. Even in a musical household, Stravinsky was never given free reign with his desires to compose. Stravinsky himself considers one particular event in his life to be his “most treasured memory” (Stravinsky, 1962). At a young age, he was taken to the hear Tchaikovsky’s Symphony #6 (Pathetique). Stravinsky found himself completely enraptured by this music that he later on stated that



Cited: Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia. "Igor Fedorovich Stravinsky." 1 Dec. 2009. Web. 8 Oct. 2010. Green, Edward. "On the Rhythm of Igor Stravinsky 's Great 'The Rite of Spring '" Dr. Edward Green: Composer, Musicologist & Aesthetic Realism Associate. Web. 11 Oct. 2010. . Grout, Donald Jay, and Claude V. Palisca. "Igor Stravinsky." A History of Western Music. By J. Peter Burkholder. 8th ed. W.W. Norton and, 2010. 829-35. Print. Ovchinnikov, Ilya. "The Arbitrary and the Inevitable." Russian Life (2007): 36-38. Academic Search Premier. Web. 5 Oct. 2010. Stravinsky, Igor. An Autobiography. W.W. Norton and, 1962. Print. Teachout, Terry. "The Real Stravinsky." Academic Search Premier. EBSCO, Aug. 2000. Web. 5 Oct. 2010. Thomas, Michael T. "Igor Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring | San Francisco Symphony Keeping Score." San Francisco Symphony Keeping Score |. 2009. Web. 11 Oct. 2010. .

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