Composers Datebook®

with host John Birge

Sunday, May 12

Darryl Brenzel's "Rewrite" of "The Rite of Spring"

Synopsis

The Paris premiere of Igor Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring”—arguably the single most-influential piece of concert music composed in the 20th century—occurred in May of 1913. At is premiere, fist-fights broke out in the audience between those who liked – or loathed – the ground-breaking new score.

On today’s date in 2010, at Baltimore’s Metro Gallery, a new version of Stravinsky’s famous score had its premiere. Dubbed the “The RE-Write of Spring,” this was the work of Darryl Brenzel, who had been asked by Baltimore’s Mobtown Modern music series to create a jazz version of Stravinsky’s score.

From the start, Brenzel wanted his version to sound true to the original but also to sound like real jazz. “Uh-oh, I’m in big trouble!” was Brenzel’s reaction when he looked at Stravinsky’s original score. Some months later, that score was covered with what Brenzel described as “yellow highlighter marks, cryptic notes of all kinds, and many new bar lines drawn in to re-organize the music.”

What emerged is something that sounds very much like Stravinsky’s evocation of a primitive Russian ritual AND very much like some fine big-band jazz in a sophisticated modern vein.

Brenzel was pleased with the result, which was recorded live for compact disc release, allowing both classical and jazz enthusiasts the opportunity to compare and contrast Stravinsky’s “Rite” and Brenzel’s “RE-write.”

And whether you like or loathe what Brenzel has done – please, no fist-fights!

Music Played in Today's Program

Darryl Brenzel Re-(W)Rite of Spring (after Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring) Mobtown Modern Big Band; Darryl Brenzel, cond. innova CD 824

Additional Information

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