The Rite of Spring is Stravinsky’s most revolutionary work. This important new book provides a comprehensive guide to the work, telling in vivid detail the story of its inception and composition, of the stormy rehearsals which led to the scandalous premiere on 29 May 1913, and of Stravinsky’s later betrayal of the ballet’s first choreographer, Vaslav Nijinsky. At the same time, in a radical reassessment of the work’s musical values, Peter Hill probes beneath the surface of the music to reveal an architectural conception of unsuspected guile and subtlety. A feature of the book is a detailed discussion of the work in performance, drawing on recordings by the Rite’s greatest interpreters, Stravinsky himself included. Finally, the significance of the Rite is thoroughly reviewed in a hard-hitting conclusion which poses a radical challenge to the orthodox view of the work.
• Comprehensive guide to the most important masterpiece of the twentieth-century • Contains a thorough consideration of the work’s performance history through study of historic recordings • Makes a radical reassessment of Stravinsky’s music