Thursday, May 3, 2007

The Rose of Spring

Today was Rite of Spring today in one of my classes - no, no pagan sacrifices, just some Stravinsky which just happened to bring to mind another great tune theft. I don't remember when it first occurred to me (years ago) that the famous opening bassoon solo seems to anticipate La vie en rose, but it's a pretty obvious connection, even if the similarities have more to do with general gestalt-ness of shape than exact duplication of intervals.

[Click on the examples to hear them played.]

They also both have Parisian associations, and the sultry high register of the bassoon is at least as distinctive as Edith Piaf's freaky timbre. Again, I wasn't able to Google much mention of this pairing, but I'm intrigued to see that some Peter Schickele wannabe named Ernest Acher recorded a "Rite of the Rose," along with other such mashups in an album entitled "Mischief with Mozart: Classical Combat with the Classics." I haven't been able to find an audio sample, but it's not hard to imagine.

I'll post this over in my growing Tune Theft Archive as well.

Recording Sources: Stravinsky, Piaf

UPDATE (1/27/2021): I've just found that the "Rite of the Rose" video mentioned above is now available on YouTube. It is not what I expected. For most of the running time, the basic texture is Stravinsky, but with the French melody intruding at times both as the variants of the opening bassoon solo and as peripheral counterpoint. "La view en rose" starts to take over at 2:25, gets a brief big moment in the sun at 2:36, and then we clumsily transition back to the very end of "The Rite of Spring." A wild ride and very enjoyable.

1 comment:

- Gregory - said...

Jeepers, I never knew there was so much musical theft. I always thought it was just inspiration. I'm glad I don't have to deal with the stress of being a composer. What if you write something that someone else did, its entirely possible! Who knows what kind of prior art is out there waiting to kick you in the copyright. And I thought singing a High C was hard. O.o

- Gregg -