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Stravinsky's Rite of Spring and metal

MLK

Stravinsky's Rite of Spring and metal
July 08, 2009, 08:05:13 PM
Just listened through this one from start to finish, after casually delving into it on and off for years without liking it (but having people constantly tell me to listen harder and/or that I dont "get it").

My thoughts: some interesting ideas from a purely technical perspective, but as complete whole it doesnt work.

As alluded to by Conservationist in another thread, 20th century/modern classical music is mono-dimensional. It picks one mood or facet of technique and hammers on and on with it (tonal and non-tonal music alike). Stravinskys "great revolution" I feel has more to do with turning classical music towards this than the introduction of anything musically new.

Technically though I cant help but feel alot of the musical ideas I'm hearing were done better in metal. Especially the interlocking disjointed rhythmic cells that seem to stutter towards melodicity - I hear Gorguts, Voivod, Destruction and Demilich echoing in there. Difference is I think that certain excesses of writing like this were tempered by those metal bands - which may be because they still had a foot in rock music or just that they had a better sense of pacing and tension/release than Stravinsky.


Download the rite of spring (not the version I listened to and not tested).

Re: Stravinsky's Rite of Spring and metal
July 08, 2009, 08:51:30 PM
As alluded to by Conservationist in another thread, 20th century/modern classical music is mono-dimensional. It picks one mood or facet of technique and hammers on and on with it (tonal and non-tonal music alike).

In the case of Rite of Spring, the chosen idea isn't even all that interesting in the first place. It's gimmicky.

In retrospect, Rite of Spring also has a 1950s, soundtracky feel to it, but I think a lot of generic film soundtracks are uninteresting because they imitate Stravinsky rather than that Stravinsky is uninteresting because he sounds like film soundtracks. Many people blame this on their over-exposure to such music through popular culture, but maybe we should scrutinize the formula itself for being inherently frivolous and driven by novelty.

Re: Stravinsky's Rite of Spring and metal
July 08, 2009, 08:54:20 PM
I think it is far easier to go to that kind of music from rock, which was built on primitive music, than from classical music which was based on transcendence.  Romanticism made such a work possible, but really, this was considered far too large of a leap.  Maybe he would have gone further if the situation is different, but it is hard to imagine anything like this in the early 20th century.  

I did recall thinking that there was nothing holding me to the music though.  Once you get past the first ten minutes, there is nothing that follows that you are going to be missing out on.

Re: Stravinsky's Rite of Spring and metal
July 08, 2009, 09:37:43 PM
Which interpretation did you listen to? The Rite is a piece that frequently suffers from all too well-kempt performances, it's music one has to experience on a physical level (not unlike a Bruckner symphony). Go for Bernstein's '58 NYPO account or the more recent Gergiev recording if you want truly barbaric accounts of this radically anti-modern modernist masterpiece.

Re: Stravinsky's Rite of Spring and metal
July 10, 2009, 01:14:35 PM
Where this can help is in introducing the metalhead to the power of classical instruments without overburdening him.