In Tuesday’s (5/28) Guardian (London), Kim Willsher writes, “The audience, packed into the newly-opened Théâtre des Champs-Élysées to the point of standing room only, had neither seen nor heard anything like it. As the first few bars of the orchestral work The Rite of Spring—Le Sacre du Printemps—by the young, little-known Russian composer Igor Stravinsky sounded, there was a disturbance in the audience. … It was 29 May 1913. Classical music would never be the same again. On Wednesday evening at the same theatre in Paris, a 21st-century audience—hopefully without vegetables—will fill the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées for a reconstruction of the original performance to mark the 100th anniversary of the notorious premiere. It will be followed by a new version of The Rite by the Berlin-based choreographer Sasha Waltz, among a series of commemorative performances. Today, the piece has gone from rioting to rave reviews and is widely considered one of the most influential musical works of the 20th century. … Finnish composer and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, currently principal conductor and artistic adviser for the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, who will conduct the Rite of Spring at the Royal Festival Hall on Thursday and at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées shortly afterwards, said The Rite still made his spine tingle.”

Posted May 28, 2013