Friday, May 03, 2013

Milton Keynes Sinfonia workshop - 'The Rite of Spring' by Igor Stravinsky

3 May 2013

Stravinsky’s ‘The Rite of Spring’ may no longer shock in the way it did at its first performance (almost exactly one hundred years ago, on 29 May 1913) but it is still a powerful and emotional work whose supreme challenges attract orchestras like the Matterhorn attracts mountaineers. It is rare for an amateur orchestra to have the opportunity to scale such perilous peaks so it was great to discover that Milton Keynes Sinfonia was planning a one-day Rite of Spring workshop. Last Sunday morning I was among nearly one hundred amateur musicians who assembled in the Hub Theatre in the Open University campus in Milton Keynes to spend a very enjoyable day trying to conquer Stravinsky’s complex and confusing rhythms. ‘The Rite of Spring’ requires a mammoth orchestra including 8 horns, 2 Wagner tubas, 6 trumpets, a bass trumpet, alto flute, 2 contra-bassoons and all manner of unusual percussion instruments. Starting with a nervous ‘play-through’ at 10.30 am, by 4.00 pm we were ready for a complete ‘performance’ which went surprisingly well. This is a great tribute to the skills of our conductor, David Knight, whose enthusiastic and encouraging coaching pulled all the strands together. 

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home