May 29, 2013: What a day of celebration.

It was a day of celebration for me, since Stravinsky is my favorite composer. I first heard “his” music as a young child, in Disney’s animated Fantasia (“his” = a very corrupted version of The Rite; Stravinsky supposedly stormed out or some such when told his score wouldn’t be needed, they had their own, thank you very much).

I then heard The Rite, really heard it, for the first time, while at Bard College, through my mentor, Joan Tower, who was and is very powerfully influenced by Stravinsky (check out her early composition, Petroushskates).

But when I really fell in love, not just with The Rite of Spring, but will all of Stravinsky’s music—and he went through many different periods, phew! Check out his neoclassic symphonies, they could not be further from The Rite—was when I took John Heiss’s Stravinsky, Schönberg, and Ives course as a grad student at New England Conservatory. I owe Professor Heiss a huge debt of gratitude for this gift, for a lifelong love of all of Stravinsky’s work. (You can see a series of five mini videos of stories of Stravinsky and the Rite, given by John Heiss, on YouTube. Here’s Part One.)

Today I posted more links and shares on Facebook in one day than I have since joining in ’08, ’09? I am certain I drove a few friends nuts. But I do feel a need to educate my friends, and the public, on this most fascinating composition and composer, on this most auspicious day, the 100th anniversary of The Rite of Spring.

But  I’m pretty tired out from it all, all the excitement of the day, so I won’t be listing here in this blog post all of the links I posted on my Facebook account today right now. I’ll do it tomorrow, though, on the day after the celebration. Plus, I’ve got a few more videos to watch before the stroke of midnight. 🙂

I was guided by no system whatsoever in Le Sacre du Printemps. Very little immediate tradition lies behind Le Sacre du Printemps, and no theory. I had only my ear to help me. I heard and I wrote what I heard. I am the vessel through which the Sacre passed.
—Igor Stravinsky


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