What is the course about?
Stravinsky had already created two ballets for Diaghilev, Director of the Ballets Russes, and after the success of these (The Firebird in 1910, and Petrushka in 1911), Le Sacre du Printemps stormed onto the stage in 1913. With extraordinary choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky and primitive, colourful sets and costumes by Roerich, the whole production reflected originality, innovation, and an overturning of the past. The Parisian audience, carefully invited to contain partisan elements, rioted on the first night. Although the original choreography has not been performed very often, many subsequent ballet companies have used this remarkable score, which has had an overwhelming effect on ballet and ballet music. In this single session we will pick out the highlights of the music and its links with the original concept of the work.
What will we cover?
- Background to the creative team and the impact of the première
- Some general principles of the music and how it fits the original choreography
- Some musical highlights.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Identify the creators of the ballet and their styles
- Understand the story of the ballet
- Appreciate some of the innovations in Stravinsky’s score and how it works with the choreography.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Some knowledge of dance music/ballet is useful but not essential. No technical knowledge of music is required.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught using a range of techniques including short lectures, slide shows and discussions, practical demonstrations on the piano and guided listening sessions. Courses use a variety of materials including YouTube clips. Links to these are given on handouts so that further exploration may take place between classes if you wish.
Occasional short preparation tasks, such as listening to a piece or reading a review, may be set from time to time. Listening and reading outside class is encouraged and, once enrolled, further online resources will be available via Google Classroom.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
- Please bring a notebook and pen.
- You may wish to buy some of the music, books or DVDs recommended in class.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
City Lit offers a wide range of music history classes, as well as related courses in history, art history and philosophy.
In the summer term Pauline will teach MD506 Music for film: a history, and MD999 Opera Studies 3: Operas in Production, as well as and MR008 Arts management: an introduction, along with other music history and appreciation courses.
If you enjoy learning about music you may like to consider our wide range of instrumental classes including piano classes taught in our digital piano suite. All beginners classes are suitable for those who don’t yet read music notation but are keen to learn.
To find out more about music history classes and to read our year-long selection of courses, please see the blog post Music history: your guide to the 2019/20 programme which lists our full programme of classes ordered by term, and by day of the week. You may then click on each title to read the full course outline.