At 100, Igor Stravinsky's 'Rite of Spring' Still Looms Large

Analyzing one of the 20th century's most influential musical pieces.

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Carolyn Kuan
Photo:Chion Wolf
Steve Metcalf
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At 100, Igor Stravinsky's 'Rite of Spring' Still Looms Large
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At 100, Igor Stravinsky's 'Rite of Spring' Still Looms Large
Igor Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" was incredibly controversial when it premiered, 100 years ago today, but chances are your current associations with is are affectionate and involve cartoon dinosaurs
 
Today on the show, we're going to discuss -- both seriously and playfully -- the way "Rite of Spring" shocked its 1913 audience and began the often jumpy relationship between modern music and the musical audience. 
 
But by 1940, "Rite of Spring" was so sufficiently housebroken that Walt Disney included it in "Fantasia," his bid for a more highbrow image. "Fantasia" is eight pieces of classical music conducted by Leopold Stokowski and paired with animation. In its own way it was as revolutionary as "Rite of Spring."  It's one of the top grossing movies of all time, and I'll tell you some backstage gossip about it during the show.
 
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