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Saturday, May 7, 2016

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971):

The reaction of the audience and the music critics to the premiere performance of the piece was negative — to say the least.


  1. I'm afraid I'm not a fan, either....the orchestration is excellent but I just can't enjoy it past that!

    1. One reason that I chose this particular piece for spring: all the political rancor which is being flung.

      The dissonances are resolved in The Rite of Spring -- according to the new paradigm set by Stravinsky. Can we do the same politically?

    2. I suspect you can't enjoy it, dear old friend, because it's too stark, too elemental for your tastes.

      I believe you'd prefer music to be either "pretty" or purely amusing, entertaining and unchallenging. When it gets too "real," or probes too deeply. it touches a nerve, offers unwelcome incursions into the status quo, and thus becomes an attack on the cocoons we spin to protect ourselves from what-we-fear-must-be the harshness, danger, and desolation of the Cosmos.

      This is the same reason why I find the aggressive assertions of Karl Marx, the Bolsheviks, Mao tse Dung, The Frankfurt School, Saul Alinsky, et. al. to be as poisonous as they are odious.

      However, high Art like Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps helps us to avoid "acting out" the barbaric impulses each of us still carries in our genetic links with the distant past. It does that by confronting us with a graphic, albeit stylized depiction of the Cruelty, Horror and EVIL of practices based on ignorance, fear and superstition thus helping us avoid it in the future –– at least we hope it does.

      Great Art can make us FEEL the Evil without our becoming PART of it.

      I hope this makes sense?

    3. No, FreeThinke, it doesn't make sense...I just don't enjoy Stravinsky. I'm capable of understanding music that is not "pretty" or "purely amusing".

      AOW...if that was your purpose, it was perfect...dissonance and political rancor go hand in hand!

    4. Z,
      Listeners react differently to dissonances.

      But, yes, I did have in mind a connection between this particular piece and political rancor in that this primary season has "unleashed something." It remains to be seen if the unleashing is an evil thing or a good thing (a needed reform).

    5. Right! I played Khachaturian for years and TALK ABOUT DISSONANCE! But GORGEOUS....

    6. Z,
      Khachaturian is worlds apart from Stravinsky. I appreciate both.

  2. My Mother would never let me read the back of the 33 speed album played every so often of this work. i never knew what I was missing:

    The Rite Of Spring, lends a suitably chilling dimension, for the scenario is a pagan ritual in which a sacrificial virgin dances herself to death.
    These days not so bad!!!

    1. "These days are not so bad."

      I agree, Bunkerville, they are not nearly so bad, they far far WORSE.

      Today Pure Unadulterated Selfishness, particularly in "Liberated" Women has become so enshrined as a virtue you'd be hard pressed to find a virgin over the age TEN let alone one who would willingly sacrifice her life to appease the gods for the good of the Community.


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