Tag Archives: Stravinsky

John Heiss on the Rite of Spring

One of my favorite people from the NEC faculty, here is John Heiss talking about the Rite of Spring. I played in his Contemporary Ensemble and took a few other classes with him. I learned the word “apotheosis” in his class; a word I still use today in a sparing but hopefully appropriate way. His descriptions are so thoughtful and insightful, and you’ll get a flavor of that here:

Rite of Spring

This video is a fine reenactment of one of the greatest moments in music history. When the Rite of Spring premiered in Paris in 1913, the audience argued, fought, and eventually broke out into a riot. I cannot think of a more wonderful thing to happen at a premiere – it would be the clearest indicator possible that you have created your masterpiece, that you have changed the world forever:

The BBC seems to have done a wonderful job of recreating the original choreography. I saw Joffrey do the original Nijinsky choreography back in 1990, and this was pretty close to what I remembered seeing back then.