Romanticism and Modernism
Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring (1913)
Rite of Spring performance at the BBC Proms (starts as 11:20): http://bobnational.net/record/218533
Riot at the Rite on Box of Broadcasts:
Stravinsky Petrouchka (1911)
In this session we learn about the iconic importance of The Rite of Spring, the third ballet which Stravinsky composed for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes which famously caused a riot at its premiere. See below to watch Michael Tilson Thomas narrate (the first part of) an excellent eight part documentary about the Rite.
Students learn to navigate the full orchestral score of The Rite. They learn to recognise bitonal music (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFPjFjUonX8#3m16s), and gain familiarity with the octatonic scale, its content of major, minor and diminished chords, its relationship with the diatonic modes, and how it naturally leads towards bitonality (http://dmitri.mycpanel.princeton.edu/files/publications/stravinsky.pdf).
- Vaslav Nijinsky version
- A more modern performance of the Nijinsky version
- Pina Bausch version of Le Sacre du Printemps
- Pina Bausch obituary
“It is almost unimportant whether a work finds an understanding audience. One has to do it because one believes that it is the right thing to do. We are not only here to please, we cannot help challenging the spectator.”
- Cutting/montage in film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORK8k8_mHyk
- Kandinsky: A Story of Revolution (BOB)
- Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring (1913), Petroushka (1911),
- Symphonies of Wind Instruments (1920)
- Symphonies of Wind Instruments (piano with score):
- Symphonies of Wind Instruments (full score with free registration):
- Tchaikovsky Symphony No 6 (octotonic scale: 13:20)
- Messiaen: Quatuor pour le fin du temps, Louange (with score)
- Messiaen: Piano Preludes – La Colombe (1929)
- Salzman, E., 2001. Twentieth Century Music 26-30
- Hill, P., 2000. Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring, particularly pp.35-59 Cambridge: CUP
- Taruskin, R., 1996. Stravinsky and the Russian TraditionsI, Oxford: OUP (pp. 849-966)
- Cross, J., 1998. The Stravinsky Legacy, Cambridge: CUP
- Edward Cone’s analysis of Symphonies of Winds
Questions to Consider
- What is radical about Stravinsky’s use of metre in The Rite?
- How does Stravinsky’s use of harmony in The Rite break with the Romantic tradition?
- Can you provide a stylistic overview of Stravinsky’s entire output?
- Why is Symphonies of Wind Instruments called this?
- In what ways might you llnk Stravinsky with Stockhausen?
Indicative Seminar Activities
- We analyse specific sections from The Rite of Spring, drawing attention to Stravinsky’s use of ostinato (score fig 7 (1:54), 62 (12:40)), accumulating texture (fig 67), and polymetre (fig 10 (2:30)).
- This is supplemented by a discussion on bitonality, the octatonic scale, tritone substitution and a brief explanation of Messiaen’s modes of limited transposition:
- ( http://lulu.esm.rochester.edu/rdm/pdflib/Mess.and.Tn.pdf
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeSVu1zbF94 )
Follow-Up Work: Assessed Item 1
- Students are asked to make a reduction into short score and analysis of a brief excerpt from The Rite of Spring, writing either by hand, or using notation software. You should submit paper versions.
- We will have a run-through of piano arrangements during the class of week 4 .
- This assignment will be submitted to the tutor in class week 5,