Stravinsky ballet dating from 1911

But the scenario itself, the choreography, and, above all, the close "interdisciplinary" conditions of coordination under which the music is now known to have been composed—these are matters which, after the 1913 premiere, quickly passed from consciousness.

Like pieces of a scaffolding, they were abandoned in favor of the edifice itself and relegated to the "extra-musical." They became history, as opposed to living art.

I would also like to thank the Music Library at the University of California at Berkeley.

The final version of the manuscript was prepared with care and skill by Mrs. Finally I extend my thanks to Anna-Marie, Linnea, and Cattarina.

Similar intentions obviously lie at the heart of many of Stravinsky's subsequent works for the theater, from Les Noces (1914–23) to Agon (1953–57). As a collection of clichés and quotations of typical wedding sayings, [Les Noces ] might be compared to one of those scenes in Ulysses in which the reader seems to be overhearing scraps of conversation without the connecting thread of discourse.

His observations on Les Noces are applicable more broadly: As my conception developed, I began to see that it did not indicate the dramatization of a wedding or the accompaniment of a staged wedding spectacle with descriptive music. But Les Noces might also be compared to Ulysses in the larger sense that both works are trying to present rather than to describe .

The first signs of a move in this direction were apparent directly after the premiere, and their roots can be traced back to the inception itself.

The really curious element in this story is that it was Stravinsky himself who initiated and then encouraged the music's dissociation from its scenic and choreographic ties.Alfred Kalisch, "London Concerts," The Musical Times , July 1, 1921The latest catchword of the partisans is that the "Sacre" is abstract music. We know how dependent Stravinsky's music has hitherto been upon the action it was designed to accompany.Ernest Newman, "The End of a Chapter," The Sunday Times , July 3, 1921For the greater part of this century our knowledge and appreciation of The Rite of Spring have come from the concert hall and from recordings.The choice of The Rite was at least partially determined by the surfacing of a wealth of source material in recent decades.My idea was, quite simply, to expand on earlier formulations within the context of The Rite 's conception as a ballet, the sketches, the emergence of a critical tradition, and the numerous revisions that followed its celebrated premiere on May 29, 1913.We can doubtless have it both ways, even if there is little tradition behind the work as dance music, while its hold as a relatively autonomous piece of music has been virtually indestructible.


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