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Defusing Dionysus? New Perspectives on The Rite of Spring

Defusing Dionysus? New Perspectives on The Rite of Spring ON THE RITE OF `No work of twentieth-century music has been more influential than Stravinsky's ballet The Rite of Spring' (Oliver 1999, p. 266). Framed so straightforwardly, the judgement seems no more and no less than a simple statement of fact. But simple statements of fact are a worry to musicology, and it is understandable that ± especially since Stravinsky's death in 1971 ± so much time and effort should have been devoted to exploring what it is about The Rite that has encouraged critics, historians and even composers to accord it such special significance. A particularly intense phase of this process was brought to a climax with the publication in 1996 of Richard Taruskin's Stravinsky and the Russian Traditions, which not only served to sum up arguments about the work's character stemming in large part from the pioneering work of Arthur Berger (1962) on modality and Lawrence Morton (1979) on folk-music sources, but also provided the stimulus for a new phase of the debate ± a phase which includes Taruskin's own further discussion (in Defining Russia Musically, 1997) as well as the first volume of Stephen Walsh's major biography (1999), and more theory-based initiatives from the likes http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Music Analysis Wiley

Defusing Dionysus? New Perspectives on The Rite of Spring

Music Analysis , Volume 21 (1) – Mar 1, 2002

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0262-5245
eISSN
1468-2249
DOI
10.1111/1468-2249.00151
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

ON THE RITE OF `No work of twentieth-century music has been more influential than Stravinsky's ballet The Rite of Spring' (Oliver 1999, p. 266). Framed so straightforwardly, the judgement seems no more and no less than a simple statement of fact. But simple statements of fact are a worry to musicology, and it is understandable that ± especially since Stravinsky's death in 1971 ± so much time and effort should have been devoted to exploring what it is about The Rite that has encouraged critics, historians and even composers to accord it such special significance. A particularly intense phase of this process was brought to a climax with the publication in 1996 of Richard Taruskin's Stravinsky and the Russian Traditions, which not only served to sum up arguments about the work's character stemming in large part from the pioneering work of Arthur Berger (1962) on modality and Lawrence Morton (1979) on folk-music sources, but also provided the stimulus for a new phase of the debate ± a phase which includes Taruskin's own further discussion (in Defining Russia Musically, 1997) as well as the first volume of Stephen Walsh's major biography (1999), and more theory-based initiatives from the likes

Journal

Music AnalysisWiley

Published: Mar 1, 2002

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