Sunday, January 28, 2007


Last night I attended a performance of Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Esa-Pekka Salonen. This exciting work, subtitled Scenes of Pagan Russia in Two Parts, still is able to send chills up my spine with its' daring rhythms and harmonies. From the opening bassoon solo the melodies that emerge from the various wind instruments are strikingly dissonant. The music continues with increasing complexity, discord and a variety of rhythmic and melodic figures. Through the use of ostinato and variations in pulse of the music the effect is exhilarating for this listener. Salonen provided energetic leadership for the CSO which performed this difficult work with excellence. As I study Stravinsky's music over the next few weeks I expect to experience additional musical thrills.

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