by Daniel Hathaway
April’s showers may not inspire Northeast Ohioans to go on pilgrimages, as Chaucer famously noted, but especially this year, concert planners’ thoughts have turned to another Spring rite: Stravinsky’s ballet Le sacre du printemps, which received its infamous debut on May 29, 1913 by Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes at the Champs-Élysées Theatre in Paris.
On April 13 at E.J. Thomas Hall, the Akron Symphony will team up with David Shimotakahara’s GroundWorks Dance Theater for a fully-choreographed performance of Rite involving 100 musicians, eight professional dancers and fifteen members of a student ensemble. Later, on April 20, Gerhardt Zimmermann will lead the Canton Symphony in Stravinsky’s famous work in Umstadt Hall. In between, on April 16, you can hear the work in its pre-orchestration version for two pianos played by Gerald Evans and Margarita Denenberg on the Lorain County Community College Signature Series.
Another extravagant celebration of Spring — perhaps not so self-consciously primitive but lusty enough in its own right — is Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, based on songs by medieval wandering scholars collected at the Bavarian abbey of Benediktbeuern (a page pictured above). [Read more…]