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Re: OT Le Sacre Du Printemp's violent debut

I'm beginning to think the whole "Stravinsky punching Debussy" at all
is a myth based on a possible mis-translation. Here's what I've come
up with so far:

"In June of 1912, Stravinsky and the French composer Claude Debussy
(left) sight-read it together. Debussy commented that the music
resembled “a beautiful nightmare.” "

So they actually were working on it together while Stravinsky was
composing it. A little further down the page, this passage suggests
that there was more than a little "myth-making" going on:

"The premiere at Paris’ Théâtre des Champs-Élysées on May 
29, 1913
is remembered for the riot, which started shortly after the
introductory bassoon melody. Beyond that, little of the music was
heard. Yet even though tradition holds that the boos and hisses were
triggered by the strange sounds coming from the orchestra, the fracas
was apparently preplanned, because factions had formed before the
event and were itching for a fight. While the music certainly was
shocking, as were the dancers, whose movements were decidedly
primitive, awkward, and not at all the refined pirouetting of
conventional ballet, the mayhem erupted on ideological grounds. As
Jean Cocteau  (right) recalled, the dispute was between ” …the smart
audience in tails and tulle, diamonds and ospreys, and the suits and
bandeaux of the aesthetic crowd. The latter would applaud novelty
simply to show their contempt for the people in the boxes.” Cocteau
also related that the audience ridiculed the women dancers in their
braids and primitive costumes as “knock-kneed Lolitas.”

So the "Stravinsky punching Debussy" probably DIDN'T happen. We do
know that Stravinsky had his hands full anyway, as there are several
accounts of him running backstage, where Diaghelev was turning the
house lights on and off, and Stravinsky having to reach for Nijinsky's
coat-tails (Nijinsky was standing on a chair, shouting out the count
to the dancers)...

This account even suggests that much of the "fracas" was made up by
Stravinsky himself (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rite_of_Spring).
After all, there's no such thing as "bad press" unless it's "no




On Wed, Sep 22, 2010 at 11:54 AM, Rick Walker <looppool@cruzio.com> wrote:
>  On 11:59 AM, Paul Richards wrote:
>> I heard he punched him in the nuts. <sic: Stravinsky => Debussy>
> I know, but where is the documentation?  This could easily be a myth and
> I'd love to know what actually happened.
> Rainer,  where are you in this discussion?    You always seem to be 
> to research stuff like this.