So, The Rite of Spring. As beloved reader and friend of the blog saint-salvage cracked while reading and listening, “ARE YOU GUYS TRYING TO START A RIOT?” This piece is famous in some circles for having caused a riot (or at least some severe uproar) during its premiere concert (you can read about that exciting bit of trivia here), and indeed, it was a very strange and difficult piece at the time, quite distinct from what was mostly happening in classical music, and it was not entirely to the taste of everyone. Don’t quote me on this, but I believe Stravinsky later asserted he wished he had actually made it even crazier, because people had grown to like it and think it beautiful, when that wasn’t entirely his intention.
Now, UNFORTUNATELY, most of our generation strongly associates this piece with dinosaurs. It’s not like I don’t have my own lasting love of Fantasia - believe me, I do! - but let’s get a few things straight. Disney took a masterwork about virgin sacrifice and made it into a weird romp about primordial soup and incredibly inaccurate dinosaurs. Which is all fine if you’re five years old and need a reason to get into Stravinsky. Then you learn about the whole lawsuit thing, where like, Disney didn’t really have permission to distribute it… and then, eventually, much later, you hear an actually GOOD version of it, a good version with good tempos and no bits missing and proper, well, everything, and you realize holy shit this is one of the greatest existing pieces of music. Well. If you’re me, that’s what happens.
I have a lot of feelings about Stravinsky
The point is, if you only associate this piece with dinosaurs, we advocate finding some good reassociations. Dinosaurs are great! We love Fantasia! But this piece is totally baller and if you have the taste for it then it deserves your attention. This is why we chose to use it, even though it has such hugely powerful cultural associations already. We did a little research and found that yes it would technically be possible for Caligari (who, duh, has MAGIC and stuff) to obtain a copy of the Rite of Spring recording at this time, although it would be very unlikely that anyone in Germany who was not an avid concertgoer would have heard it at this time. Which is why neither Doctorow nor Herr Inspektor recognize it, and why they kind of don’t like it at all. Because that shit was WEIRD! Also they were kind of busy trying to save their friend from crazy monster people but that’s another story.
This is perhaps not a very coherent post, but I had to say something about it, anyway.