If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

"Rigoroso (♪ = 126)": "The Rite of Spring" and the Forging of a Modernist Performing Style

Robert Fink
Journal of the American Musicological Society
Vol. 52, No. 2 (Summer, 1999), pp. 299-362
DOI: 10.2307/832000
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/832000
Page Count: 64
  • Download PDF
  • Cite this Item

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Preview not available

Abstract

It is only recently that we have begun to consider modernist performing style-especially its brisk, unyielding tempos and abhorrence of "expressive" rubato-as a historical phenomenon. Much of the credit (or blame) for this style has been ascribed to the composer of The Rite of Spring; Richard Taruskin argues that "all truly modern musical performance... treats the music performed as if it were composed-or at least performed-by Stravinsky." But the performing history of the Rite shows that the composer struggled mightily to get his own music played "as if composed by Stravinsky." Early interpretations of the Rite were slower and more elastic-more "romantic"-than the composer wanted. Focusing on the "Danse sacrale," this paper examines the battles over tempo and rubato evidenced by historic recordings, piano rolls, and published documents. It also considers the unpublished compositional and performing materials for the Rite: Stravinsky's autograph short and full scores, and his annotated personal copies of the 1913 piano reduction and the 1922 and 1948 full scores. The record indicates (1) that tempo and pacing of many sections of the Rite were radically rethought between sketch and 1922 printed score; (2) that someone (Pierre Monteux?) indicated rubatos and changed many of Stravinsky's metronome marks on the autograph; (3) that early performances of the "Danse sacrale" featured unwritten tempo modifications for dramatic effect; and (4) that Stravinsky had to work for decades to fix in his score the rigoroso that has become the characteristic performing tempo of our time.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[299]
    [299]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
300
    300
  • Thumbnail: Page 
301
    301
  • Thumbnail: Page 
302
    302
  • Thumbnail: Page 
303
    303
  • Thumbnail: Page 
304
    304
  • Thumbnail: Page 
305
    305
  • Thumbnail: Page 
306
    306
  • Thumbnail: Page 
307
    307
  • Thumbnail: Page 
308
    308
  • Thumbnail: Page 
309
    309
  • Thumbnail: Page 
310
    310
  • Thumbnail: Page 
311
    311
  • Thumbnail: Page 
312
    312
  • Thumbnail: Page 
313
    313
  • Thumbnail: Page 
314
    314
  • Thumbnail: Page 
315
    315
  • Thumbnail: Page 
316
    316
  • Thumbnail: Page 
317
    317
  • Thumbnail: Page 
318
    318
  • Thumbnail: Page 
319
    319
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[320]
    [320]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[321]
    [321]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
322
    322
  • Thumbnail: Page 
323
    323
  • Thumbnail: Page 
324
    324
  • Thumbnail: Page 
325
    325
  • Thumbnail: Page 
326
    326
  • Thumbnail: Page 
327
    327
  • Thumbnail: Page 
328
    328
  • Thumbnail: Page 
329
    329
  • Thumbnail: Page 
330
    330
  • Thumbnail: Page 
331
    331
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[332]
    [332]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[333]
    [333]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
334
    334
  • Thumbnail: Page 
335
    335
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[336]
    [336]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
337
    337
  • Thumbnail: Page 
338
    338
  • Thumbnail: Page 
339
    339
  • Thumbnail: Page 
340
    340
  • Thumbnail: Page 
341
    341
  • Thumbnail: Page 
342
    342
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[343]
    [343]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[344]
    [344]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[345]
    [345]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
346
    346
  • Thumbnail: Page 
347
    347
  • Thumbnail: Page 
348
    348
  • Thumbnail: Page 
349
    349
  • Thumbnail: Page 
350
    350
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[351]
    [351]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[352]
    [352]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[353]
    [353]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[354]
    [354]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
355
    355
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[356]
    [356]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
357
    357
  • Thumbnail: Page 
358
    358
  • Thumbnail: Page 
359
    359
  • Thumbnail: Page 
360
    360
  • Thumbnail: Page 
361
    361
  • Thumbnail: Page 
362
    362