by Mike Telin
In his book, First Nights, Harvard professor Thomas Forrest Kelly begins his description of the premiere of Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps on May 29, 1913 at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris with reflections by its ballet master and a famous composer who happened to be in the audience.
I think the whole thing has been done by four idiots: First, M. Stravinsky who wrote the music. Second, M. Roerich who designed the scenery and costumes. Third, Mr. Nijinsky who composed the dances. Fourth, M. Diaghilev who wasted money on it. —Enrico Cecchetti
The choreography is ridiculous, the music sheer cacophony. There is some originality, however, and a certain amount of talent. But taken together, it might be the work of a madman. —Giacomo Puccini
This Saturday and Sunday, August 17 and 18 at 8:00 pm at the Blossom Music Center, Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet will join The Cleveland Orchestra, Tito Muñoz, conducting, in Robert Joffrey and Millicent Hodson’s 1987 recreation of Nijinski’s original choreography for The Rite of Spring. The score will be played in a reduced orchestration for stage performances by noted conductor Jonathan McPhee published by Boosey & Hawkes (the only reduction to be authorized by the Stravinsky Trust). [Read more…]