Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Imani Winds Releases Digital EP of Jonathan Russell's 19-minute Arrangement for Wind Quintet of Igor Stravinsky's 'Rite of Spring'

Digital release on EMI
(Photo: Matthew Murphy)

Imani Winds plays the groundbreaking arrangement with fervor. Featured on Sirius XM, NPR and more.

"The Rite of Spring" released on EMI

In an unprecedented arrangement, Imani Winds conquers the challenge of Igor Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring" with fervor.
This arrangement by clarinetist, Jonathan Russell, is a 19 minute version of the ballet that made shockwaves in the classical music scene 100 years ago in Paris.
100th Anniversary of Stravinsky’s ‘The Rite of Spring’

Today marks the centennial of one of the most infamous events in music and dance history.  On May 29, 1913, the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées was packed for the premier of Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring  – a ballet choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky, and based on primitive sacrificial rituals surrounding the advent of spring.  The premier of this seminal work of 20th century avant-garde music and choreography sparked a riot among audience members.  Eyewitnesses of the event indicate that the unrest began at the introduction of the piece, which is characterized by harmonic dissonance.  The unrest grew into a full-fledged riot by the time the curtain opened to show dancers stamping to arrhythmic, dissonant chords.  As the crowd shouted and threw objects toward the stage, Stravinsky retreated to watch the performance from the stage wings while Nijinsky loudly shouted the step numbers to the dancers.  Despite the riotous audience, the piece was performed in full and ended with numerous curtain calls for the dancers, Nijinsky, and Stravinsky.

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