Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Stravinsky in the air
At last, at long last the Bad Plus is performing their arrangement of Igor Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring" in New York! Tomorrow, August 2nd, for free, at Lincoln Center's Out of Doors concert series.
As we approach the 100th anniversary of this still-badass masterpiece, I'm looking forward to a lot of "Rite" and Stravinsky related activities. The Carolina Performing Arts has launched a website dedicated to celebrating and exploring "The Rite". There are some great commentaries from composers about their encounters with the piece.
I've been reading Stephen Walsh's biography of Stravinsky and listening to his works in (mostly) chronological order. I've decided that things really get interesting for me at "Petrushka".
I also finally got around to reading "The Apollonian Clockwork", a kind of free-form collection of essays about Stravinsky by composers Louis Andriessen and Elmer Schonberger. This book lives up to the praise heaped upon it by countless musicians and critics. My favorite quote about the book is from Stravinsky scholar Richard Taruskin: "The one book about Stravinsky that Stravinsky would have liked."
Thank god for the Performing Arts Library, they have 3 copies of this rare book. It fetches a high price on Amazon.