Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Rite of Appalachian Spring

This is one of those projects where the title inspired the whole thing. We generally end up studying the Stravinsky and Copland around the same time in my music appreciation class, so it was perhaps inevitable that they'd run together in my mind at some point. I probably also owe some credit to Alex Ross, who does a good job of pointing out (see p.267 of hardback version) how much Copland's style owes to Stravinsky, even though the end results are quite different. This is also a good time to thank the ever generous Alex for linking to my "Webern in Mayberry" post, thereby sending a wee bit more traffic this way.

A few quick comments. I love this sort of project, as it fuses the acts of composing, arranging, and audio engineering. I've little doubt Peter Schickele would have gotten here first were it not for copyright issues, but I'd don't think he's married these pieces yet; in case you're wondering, this arrangement is performed by Maestro René Köhler leading the National-Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra. The musical part of this actually went together quite quickly. Nothing is transposed, in fact. And, yes, it is intended to sort of break apart at the end; that's part of the fun.

I only decided to add visuals to make this more YouTube friendly, so they're not very sophisticated. The Rite of Spring picture is Nikolai Roerich's design for the original 1913 production. You can see the Joffrey Ballet's recreation of that version here. It was completely unintentional that the generic Appalachian Spring image (which I just found on Google) ends up looking a little Thomas Kinkade-y at times. Ahhhh! By the time I realized that, I'd already invested too much time to go back. Please don't call me the "YouTuber of Light."

Christmas decorations go up on the blog tomorrow. (Or maybe Saturday. Tomorrow's really busy.)

1 comment:

thais said...

MM - Great combo! Not many pieces of music consistently put me on edge and cause me to uncontrollably check over my shoulder - but 'Rite of Spring' always has. For some reason, seeing the two visual representations juxtaposed upped the disturbing ante of ROS for me...
I'm just starting to get my feet wet in 'The Rest is Noise.' Really enjoying what I've read so far.
Hope the end of the semester is going well for you!