The First Time I Heard The Rite of Spring

Stories from Composers, Musicians and New York Public Radio Hosts

Friday, May 24, 2013

Listen to some of today's leading composers and musicians as well as your favorite New York Public Radio hosts weigh in on the first time they heard Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, as part of next Wednesday's Rite of Spring Fever centennial celebration.

We'll be publishing stories each day on this page as we gear up for next week's all-day marathon focus on The Rite, but to get started, hear from composer Steve Reich, electronic musician Dan Deacon, composer-cellist Zoe Keating, percussionist Steven Schick, composer Nico Muhly and composer-violinist Owen Pallett (formerly known as Final Fantasy). 

Upcoming artists include Brooklyn Philharmonic conductor Alan Pierson, composer Michael Gordon, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra music director Robert Spano, flutist and International Contemporary Ensemble artistic director Claire Chase, composer-saxophonist Sam Hillmer of Zs and Diamond Terrifier, WNYC hosts John Schaefer and Brian Lehrer, composer David T. Little, cellist Fred Sherry, WQXR host Naomi Lewin, Brooklyn Rider cellist Eric Jacobsen, composer-pianist Timo Andres and more. 

Q2 Music's Rite of Spring Fever is a 24-hour marathon on Wednesday, May 29 hosted by Phil Kline of contrasting interpretations of Stravinsky's masterpiece and a complementary web portal of interviews, testimonials and interactive features.

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Comments [6]

@ 12-string Frank,

I was wondering whether I would be the only one foolhardy enough to admit that "Fantasia" was the first recording that I was actually cognizant of! Despite the severe cuts made, I still find that an exciting performance. I can still see the bubbling magma and the dinosaurs in my mind's eye.

When I was a small child, we had a bunch of 78's without labels. I only found out years or decades later that I had grown up with such things as the "Peer Gynt" Suite.

Jun. 03 2013 12:19 AM
12-String Frank from Staten Island

Disney's "Fantasia". 'Nuff said.

May. 31 2013 11:42 AM

The first time I heard The Rite of Spring was at my upper east side girls' school. A school parent, the composer Milton Babbitt--the kindest, most lovely Dad--played it for an Upper School Friday afternoon Assembly. Said it was the most important piece of music, gave us the history of the jeering and booing at its premier, and then put the LP on a stereo that had adequate speakers, and let the music wash over our navy blue uniformed selves. We were riveted. Not a cough or any of the bored surreptitious rustling in chairs that happened during other Friday Assembly speakers' presentations. At reunions we still talk about it and how 150 teenage girls experienced time stopping.

May. 29 2013 01:05 PM

Ed in Florida

The first time I heard the Rite was at Tanglewood, the Boston Symphony with Ozawa conducting. We were out on the lawn with a great picnic supper and listening to that music under the stars and in a nature setting. Wonderful!

May. 29 2013 10:00 AM
Jonathan Bates

It never ceases to thrill me. And seeing it danced in Joffrey's re-construction of the ballet makes it even more thrilling! I shoulda been a dancer...

May. 28 2013 02:46 PM
Gev Sweeney from The Jersey Shore

The first time I heard The Rite of Spring was the last time I heard The Rite of Spring. No offense, peeps. Not my cuppa, I'm afraid.

May. 28 2013 08:40 AM

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