May 21, 2013

"Parisians Hiss New Ballet"

'And that is all we get,' added M. Stravinsky, 'after a hundred rehearsals and one year's hard work.' --Igor Stravinsky's comment to the press, following The Rite of Spring's premiere

Igor Stravinsky, 1921
The Rite of Spring turns 100 on May 29, a milestone which the RPO commemorates almost to the day, on May 30 and June 1.

Rite of Spring has come to be appreciated by audiences all over the world in the 100 years since its premiere, but got off to a famously tumultuous start. This New York Times article from 1913 chronicles the “storm of hissing” unleashed by the Paris audience, and includes a prophetic quote from Stravinsky on the piece's reception from future audiences:
No doubt it will be understood one day that I sprang a surprise on Paris, and Paris was disconcerted. But it will soon forget its bad temper.

The RPO pays tribute to the Rite's enduring legacy with an anniversary-weekend performance, May 30 and June 1.

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