Happy First Day of Spring everyone!
Le Sacre du Printemps
The Rite of Spring
Those of you who were reading this blog last year at this time, know of my spring ritual. Actually, even if you just live near me, you probably know my habit. On the first day of Spring, I choose one of my recordings of The Rite of Spring, and play it as loudly as my tower speakers will allow. I think this is a cathartic experience, honoring one of my favorite composers and favorite pieces of music. As objectionable as it may be to some of my neighbors, it is more acceptable than sacrificing a goat on the front lawn, to make the crops grow.
One of the best orchestral performances available is the Cleveland Orchestra with Pierre Boulez conducting. Boulez actually has recorded Le Sacre on more than one occasion with Cleveland, and those performances have been released and re-released multiple times. (When available, I love the version he led in 1969)
My most recent favorite version of The Rite of Spring is by the trio The Bad Plus. They have adapted the work to their instrumentation, and added their rebel spirit to the material. The Bad Plus is an intelligent, creative, and masterful group of musicians.
Listen to the iconic opening of Stravinsky’s masterpiece in the original orchestra version.
And now listen to the same stretch of music, performed by The Bad Plus
I absolutely love both versions. For variety, this year the neighbors will be subjected to The Bad Plus version. I have included links to both on Spotify, if you care to join in the fun playing your favorite at home.