Sir Simon Rattle conducting The London Symphony Orchestra

There are times when I can’t stand Stravinsky’s ‘Rite of Spring’. Perhaps it’s a love/hate relationship… all that disonance when I crave listening to a Mozart Piano Concerto.

But no one can doubt the orgiastic swirl of orchestral instruments, the pounding primal rhythms and the sharp stabbing disonance of The Rite of Spring.

Yes, it started a riot in Paris during its first premiere. It was way ahead of its time at the beginning of the 20th Century.

But the more I listen to it, the more I appreciate Stravinsky’s genius, his imagination and ability to compose something so cutting edge and defiant. It was the 20th Century’s version of ‘the shot heard around the world’ since it caused such a stir.

Nowadays, it is part of the standard repertoire for orchestra, and even Disney added an adaption of it to its animated motion picture, ‘Fantasia’.

I admit, to the average listener, this music can be alien and even sinister. But further listenings will bring the listener close to the pure genius of Stravinsky.

Despite the love/hate relationship, this is one of my all-time favorites and there are certain sections of this music that bring me to tears…