You Pick the Performance with the 'Rite' Stuff

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

One hundred years ago today, Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring premiered at the Théatre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. Today's Showdown celebrates this tremendous moment in classical music history.

We asked you which one of these three great performances of Stravinsky's seminal work you'd like to hear and you chose a 1951 recording by the Boston Symphony with conductor Pierre Monteux, who conducted the 1913 premiere.

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Comments [18]

Wanda from NYC

Valery Gergiev brings this amazing work to life like no other!

May. 29 2013 05:35 PM
Albert Sanchez Moreno from Atlanta, Ga.

Stravinsky's own performance with the Columbia Symphony Orchestra, recorded in stereo in the 1960's, is my favorite. He points up the dissonances in the music more sharply than anyone else.

May. 29 2013 01:29 PM
Jed Distler from New York City

The Ancerl/Czech Philharmonic recording abounds with incisive rhythms, impeccable textural contouring, and amazingly characterful timbres from first desk soloists and orchestral sections alike. For modern sound and world-class orchestral standards, the Yoel Levi/Atlanta Symphony version still stands as a version of reference.

May. 29 2013 12:46 PM
Holliday from Working in Purchase, NY

I'm with Bernie from UWS -- I would love to hear more Stravinsky on QXR. I'm eating my lunch at my desk and really enjoying listening now. Haven't heard it in awhile and it is still exciting and easy to imagine the riotous reaction all those years ago. Please also play a Soldier's Tale.......
To each his own........

May. 29 2013 12:15 PM
NYMike from Manhattan

Monteux not only because I still have this recording in my LP collection, but because it's still one of my favorites along with Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

May. 29 2013 11:54 AM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

I agree, Peter, we usually are in synch, but I guess not this time! It's good that we all have different tastes in music, otherwise it would be pretty boring - and thanks, Jessica, I will enjoy my lunch; enjoy Rite of Spring!

May. 29 2013 11:53 AM
Peter O'Malley from Oakland, New Jersey

One more vote for Monteux. What would be really great would be for you (QXR) to play it on an LP, but you probably threw them all out, along with the turntables (unlike WKCR, which recognizes their value).

On this one, I disagree with Carol Luparella, with whom i usually seem to be in synch on here.

May. 29 2013 11:42 AM

I voted for the Monteaux version as he was the conductor for the very first performance.

May. 29 2013 11:38 AM
Jessica B. from NJ

I too voted for the Monteux, as I would like to hear the man behind the performance that started it all.

And Carol Luparella, just because Q2 is devoting today to the Rite doesn't mean WQXR itself shouldn't play it ONCE on the 100th anniversary of its watershed premiere. Not everyone listens on the Internet, and not everyone shares your distaste for the piece. Enjoy your lunch.

May. 29 2013 11:17 AM
Daureen Matera from White Plains, NY

Any Lenny. Always my first choice.

May. 29 2013 11:16 AM
Joan Palermo from New York City

Although I love Leonard Bernstein I am intrigued by the fact that Pierre Monteux was the original conductor of The Rite of Spring so he gets my vote.
All in all it is a great seminal work.

May. 29 2013 11:09 AM
KQ from Brooklyn

Valery Gergiev!! #teamgergiev

May. 29 2013 11:07 AM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

Enough with "Rite of Spring" already! You've got it continuously playing on Q2 today, so for those who want to hear it, they can listen to it as much as they want. You seem to think that everyone is so enthralled with this piece, but I'm sure there are many of us who are not. I actually find it rather irritating, and so at Noon I am going to enjoy the "Rite of Lunch"!

May. 29 2013 10:14 AM
Carole Bradford from Long Island

I voted for Leonard Bernstein because I have a soft spot in my heart for him... he was the first conductor I ever saw conduct anything. But I would dearly love to hear all three recordings. Any chance the two that don't win could be worked into the play list very soon?

May. 29 2013 10:08 AM
Gerard Monteux from NJ and Maine

Greetings. Yes, I'm related to Pierre. I'm one of his grandsons, and a faithful listener. I voted for...Pierre.

May. 29 2013 09:51 AM
concetta nardone from Nassau

I voted for the Monteux because he conducted the premier and was closest to the composer's wishes. Suppose Boychick Bernstein will get the most votes. We so love Dear Lenny when he does his little dance on the podium.

May. 29 2013 09:33 AM
kriss from Piscataway, NJ

I DEFINITELY want to hear the performance that caused a riot!

May. 29 2013 09:25 AM
Bernie from UWS

All three have their fascination for me but I'm curious to hear the Monteaux version. He led the premiere and we don't hear many historic recordings on WQXR.

Would love to hear more Stravinsky on QXR - Symphony of Psalms, Petrouchka, Symphony in Three Movements, Pulcinella, Soldier's Tale, the list goes on....

May. 29 2013 07:14 AM

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