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How big is Rite of Spring?

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Do you mean other than a big string section to offset a big wind section? The winds look like this: 3 fl(pic, alto fl), 3 oboe (eng hrn), 3 clar (al and bass), 3 bsn (contra), 4 horns, 3 trumpets (if I remember correctly, I think one of them is a bass trumpet), 3 bones, tuba, 4 timp, 4 perc.

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I apologize--I was at home, and didn't have my book. The instrumentation I originally listed was for a reduced orchestration, but I did remember the bass trumpet correctly. It should be:

5 fl (2 picc)

5 oboe (2 eng hrn)

5 cl (2 bs cl)

5 bassoons (2 contras)

8 horns (7-8 double on Wagner tubas)

5 trumpets (1 bass trumpet)

3 trombones

2 tubas

2 timp

4 perc

Incidentally, the reduced instrumentation that I listed first calls for a minumim string count of

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If my memory is correct, the score was commissioned by Diaghilev for the Ballets Russe, in Paris. As a ballet, it never traveled much to other companies and venues, although I seem to recall a revival, based on the original choreography, within the last 5 years or so.

Monteux prepared and led the first performance, which fomented the audience, cultivated, worldly Parisians, to riot. Oh to have been a fly on the wall!

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