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The Rite of Spring at 100

Claude Debussy and Igor Stravinsky

Hear Live from WFMT, Monday, 8:00 PM

Imagine Claude Debussy and Igor Stravinsky sitting side-by-side at the piano. Before them is a manuscript to a brand new piece of music, which Stravinsky has scored for piano four-hands. It’s never been played before, but Debussy’s sight-reading skills are formidable. He takes the bass part, while Stravinsky covers the upper registers. As they play through this music, both composers are well aware that an orchestrated version of the work is on its way to the prominent conductor Pierre Monteaux. The great Russian dancer Vaslav Nijinksy has been engaged to create choreography for this music; Le Sacre du printemps will soon be on a Paris marquee, above the names Sergei Diaghilev and his Ballets Russes. Expectations for this new piece are impossibly high; after all, Stravinsky is the composer of The Firebird and Petrushka.

What exploded from that manuscript, however, was nothing short of a revolution.

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Clarie Aebersold and Ralph Neiweem practicing The Rite of Spring

Clarie Aebersold and Ralph Neiweem practicing The Rite of Spring

To mark the 100th anniversary of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, the piano duo Claire Aebersold and Ralph Neiweem are giving a number of performances and lectures on the piece. Hear them LIVE on WFMT’s weekly studio performance series, Live from WFMT on Monday, April 28th at 8:00 PM.

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