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May 2013
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Music that Changed the World

Photo of Igor Stravinsky from a 1910 postcard

Valentine Hugo's rehearsal sketches

Several events are converging around the 100th anniversary of the premiere of The Rite of Spring. The centennial is May 29th, 2013. In honor of that occasion, WFMT hosted Claire Aebersold and Ralph Neiweem for a live piano performance of the piece (Stravinsky himself made this version for two pianists at the time of composition). Listen to the Live from WFMT recital.

It so happens this Sunday, May 12, WTTW launches the much-anticipated 10 Buildings that Changed America. In answer to 10 Buildings, WFMT’s 10 Pieces of Music that Changed the World, begins at 9:00 AM on Friday, May 10.

There is little debate among music-lovers that The Rite of Spring tops the list, not chronologically, or necessarily in degree of importance, but in its ability to evoke discussion and yet another re-telling of the riot that erupted at its premiere. Pianist Claire Aebersold is quick to point out that months after the fist fights died down, the world recognized Stravinky’s score as a watershed; hear the interview. And then, within 25 years, the piece would be chosen by Walt Disney for his “concert feature,” Fantasia (what other classical composition has gotten that sort of mainstream recognition within a quarter century?).

Valentine Hugo's rehearsal sketches

Valentine Hugo’s rehearsal sketches

10 Pieces of Music that Changed the World starts at 9:00 AM on Friday. The orchestral version of The Rite of Spring will air during the 4 o’clock hour.

Lasting Impressions, WFMT’s second companion to 10 Buildings that Changed the World, will take place throughout the day on Monday, May 13. Lasting Impressions poses the question to a dozen critics, conductors and composers: which pieces from the last 25 years do you believe will still be heard 100 years from now?