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paganiniboy

Your opinion on Rite of Spring....

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Yeah, so just another opinion question. I like knowing what others think about a particular piece. This is my favorite piece, but not far ahead any of the Shosti symphonies 5-10. Haha. This piece is amazing. I've always enjoyed memorizing every note of a modern piece (would you call Rite of Spring modern? what?) so that eventually your mind can play with the phrasing. For example, my favorite piece to phrase in my head is the Bartok Solo Violin Sonata. fun stuff!

P

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This is one of my favorites as well - almost a tie with Beethoven's 7th. When I was a very young, I used to play the version of Rite of Spring from the Fantasia album, again, and again, and again. Now, when I listen to other performances, I keep expecting to hear the familiar scratches that I put in the record. All that repetitive listening made the scratches part of the piece to me. Who knows, maybe Stravinsky would like that.

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I'm sorry, but when I found out what that piece was about (ritual gang-rape + murder) I just couldn't experience it the same way again. As a woman, I find it hard to think of the piece anymore without the willies. The next time I had to play it, I was just all the time thinking, "Is this the part where they're *****ing her?"

ICK. Sorry for the downer...

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I played this w/ orch. last yr, and i absolutely loved it. At first when I was learning it, I was like who could ever write such an ugly piece that makes no sense and is clashy. but the more i practiced and listened to it, the more i liked it and enjoyed the uniqueness and subtle beauty of the piece. the rhythms are a bit tricky but its def. one of my fave. pieces.

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My Theory Professor first semester said something along the lines of, "No one would disagree that The Rite of Spring is the most important piece of the 20th century."

I thought the remark was a bit much, but I'm a fan of the piece.

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I don't think its the most important piece of the 20th century. I could think of about 50 pieces that I would consider more important (of course, this is just my opinion)

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"No one would disagree that The Rite of Spring is the most important piece of the 20th century."

Yikes.

Well, you can place me squarely in the camp of "no one".

In fact, with statements like the quote above, I'm tempted to nominate Stravinsky's Rite of Spring for the title of "Most Over-Rated Piece of the 20th Century."

Rat

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iupviolin, the floor is yours. please share the 50 pieces of the twentieth century you feel are more important than the rite of spring. i'm quite interested to see this rather large list of pieces which supposedly have been more instrumental in the influence and development of modern idioms, styles, and techniques than the rite of spring.

personally, i feel there are a handful of pieces which, along with the rite of spring, have been decidedly influential in the development of 20th-century composition...but it is a rather select group.

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"I'm sorry, but when I found out what that piece was about (ritual gang-rape + murder) I just couldn't experience it the same way again. As a woman, I find it hard to think of the piece anymore without the willies."

Ritual gang-rape would be decidedly difficult without the willies

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desert rat, you completely missed the issue. the issue raised by lymond was not whether one enjoys or appreciates the piece(as obviously you do not). the issue pertains to the importance of the rite of spring....i.e., it's influence on later pieces. do you deny the importance of the piece, and the influence it had on later composers and the development of 20th-century idioms?

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Lauragigs,

If im not wrong, I believe that the Ballet is the one about the "ritual gang-rape + murder", not the actual Piece Stravinsky wrote. But more importantly, when listening to a piece, I dont think you should pay any attention whatsoever (unless its a play, ballet you're watching, or a musical) to what its written about and/or for. You should close your eyes and listen to what its offering You, not everybody. When I'm listening to this piece I still think of Dinosaurs and Bee's and somewhat nature in a riot of change. Of course I had no idea whatsoever that the Dinosaur part is from Fantasia, (as i've never seen Fantasia), but was quite ammused to find out what I imagined is exactly what they portray in the movie! Since what you think of is a ritual sacrifice, etc, you should try and move beyond it and think of something different. Imagine something totally different. Try the dinosaur thing (the second half). Or, if you really cant get over the sacrifice, dont think of murder or anything... Just think of this girl dancing around on her own, having her own crazy thoughts, around a fire, and she slowly dies. (haha, hard to type all this while i'm listening to Shostakovich symphony 11. All I get from him in this symphony is 'spirals' and stuff. So cool.)

Sorry my sentence structure seems "everywhere". I'm totally out of it this morning, and Shosti isn't helpin'!

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"If im not wrong, I believe that the Ballet is the one about the "ritual gang-rape + murder", not the actual Piece Stravinsky wrote."

actually, that is what the piece is about...a sacrifice of a young girl. part II of the score is even entitled, "the sacrifice". the piece and the ballet are not wholly separate entities...stravinsky collaborated with diaghilev on the choreography.

that being said, the girl (at least in the production i saw, which was a reproduction of the original choreography) is not gang raped. i cannot speak for every production that is out nowadays, but this does not happen in the original choreography. while it is true that she is surrounded by a circle of elders in the final scene, she is actually not touched by any of them. indeed, her own death is a result of dancing feverishly to the point of fatal exhaustion....it does not come from the hands of the elders.

it is still quite primal, but that is exactly what stravinsky had in mind.

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Well, it would be a waste of space (and would take too long) to list the pieces, but how about I name that composers? I'll start with Schoenberg, then I'll move to Webern and Berg, then John Cage and Penderecki. I'd end with John Williams, who has inspired countless young people to become composers since "Star Wars".

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Grendel said, "desert rat, you completely missed the issue. the issue raised by lymond was not whether one enjoys or appreciates the piece(as obviously you do not). the issue pertains to the importance of the rite of spring....i.e., it's influence on later pieces. do you deny the importance of the piece, and the influence it had on later composers and the development of 20th-century idioms?

Well, Grendel, I missed nothing, and I suggest you acquire a self-help book on reading comprehension. Nowhere in my post did I state that I disliked the piece nor did I state that the piece was unimportant. My assertion was, and is, that statements along the lines of, "no one will disagree that..." are over-the-top and inaccurate.

In addition, you are the one who has taken the liberty to define what was meant by the word "important" as used in the quote Lymond cited.

I would ask, "Important to whom?" If the answer is "to a relatively small group of composers and egg-headed musical elitists", then the quote in question may very well be true!

Depending on how you answer the "to whom" question, you could easily replace The Rite of Spring with Rodeo, Rhapsody in Blue, or even Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Alas, the term "important" will be likely be reserved only for haughty-minded slingers of B.S., as when a crappy-sounding violin that no player wants is described at auction as "rare and important".

Rat

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IMHO, the Rite of Spring is a masterpiece that belongs to the 20th C. and shaped many styles to come, but, it does not compare to what Beethoven did, mainly because of the personal views of the composers themselves. Beethoven had noble ideas in mind. Strawinsky was not so noble, particularly with regards to the musicians that worked with him and his egocentricity re. fees and putting down musicians for his own personal gain.

Respectfully,

Pag

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As much as I like the Rite of Spring, I don't think it is Stravinsky's greatest work - though, no doubt it is his most notorious. I think the Symphonies (all three) are better compositions.

As for its importance in 20th century music, it is definitely up there, in that it showed how far one could still go using the techniques of Rimsky-Korsakov. Other important pieces - Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire, Debussy's La Mer, Prokofiev's 3rd piano concerto, Shostakovich 4th symphony, Bartok's Miraculous Mandarin and String Quartet #4, Gorecki's Symphony #3, and a handful of others. Not necessarily my favorites, but all had a lot to do with shaping music in the century.

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I agree. I think people put too much importance on Strawinsky. In my books he is not MY hero. Beethoven is mine. Strawinsky just does not compare at all with the true great masters in so far as I am concerned. Putting naked women on the stage is just the sign of a composer who did not know how to move an audience by the sheer sounds of the music, i.e. Beethoven. But, as an educator Strawinsky did have a lot of good things to say.

Pag

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