Rite of Spring

Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring”: Two versions.

The premiere of Stravinsky’s ‘Le sacre du printemps’ is legendary. It caused a full-blown scandal in Paris in 1913 even though the previous year the composer had participated in the premiere of the duo piano version of this epochal work. On this CD, we hear both the piano version and the orchestral version. Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring for piano four hands, performed by the Piano Duo Trenkner Speidel. The Rite of Spring, as performed by the Beethoven Orchester Bonn, Stefan Blunier conducting. On this CD, the Trenkner-Speidel Piano Duo presents first the version for piano four hands. Even years later Claude Debussy wrote that the memory of this premiere was like “a beautiful nightmare.” He supplied the second pair of hands during its performance, and from that time forth his admiration for his colleague, who was twenty years his junior, went over into boundless enthusiasm. The reduction to piano renders certain melody aspects with unprecedented clarity – the Sacre cannot be experienced with greater transparency. Also on this recording, the Beethoven Orchester Bonn conducted by Stefan Blunier offer the fascinating comparative opportunities given by the performance of the later orchestral version. Here is Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps: