From the Library: Riotous Riel

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by Otenth Paderborn on Wednesday, 9 September, 2009

The complex music and violent dance steps depicting fertility rites first drew catcalls and whistles from the crowd. At the start with the opening bassoon solo, the audience began to boo loudly due to the slight discord in the background notes behind the bassoon’s opening melody. There were loud arguments in the audience between supporters and opponents of the work. These were soon followed by shouts and fistfights in the aisles. The unrest in the audience eventually degenerated into a riot. The Paris police arrived by intermission, but they restored only limited order. Chaos reigned for the remainder of the performance, and Stravinsky himself was so upset on account of its reception that he fled the theater in mid‐scene, reportedly crying. (Wikipedia)

Today’s program features classical music that provoked riots. Granted, not all the riots were as spectacular as that reported from the première of Le Sacre du Printemps! Other works in today’s program include La muette de Portici by Daniel François Esprit Auber, Salomé by Richard Strauss, The Miraculous Mandarin by Bela Bartok, and Chanson madécasses by Maurice Ravel, other works by these composers, and works by Satie, Berlioz, and Rimsky‐Korsakov.

Radio Riel produces this program in conjunction with the Alexandrian Free Library Consortium of Second Life. You can listen to the program now at Today’s music originates from the music library of Otenth Paderborn.

For more information on the Alexandrian Free Library, current exhibits and the work of Consortium members in general, please visit the Alexandrian Free Library website, or one of their branches in‐world.

Illustration: The Great Sacrifice, 2nd variant, 1912, by Nikolai Roerich. Set design for Sergei Diaghilev’s production of Le Sacre du Printemps, Théâtre des Champs‐Élysées, Paris, 1913.


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