MAHAWAY: SPRING ETERNAL
instrumentation: string quartet, piano, timpani
duration: 70 minutes
written in: 2013
commissioned by: Tenth Intervention and Alison Cook Beatty Dance
A Commemorative Dance & Musical Celebration of the 100th Anniversary
of the Paris premiere of Igor Stravinsky's and Vaslav Nijinsky's The Rite of Spring
The methods of orchestration that Stravinsky used challenged all conventions and expectations, both in his writing for individual instruments and for the orchestra as a whole, often times pushing
the boundaries. The opening melody is for solo bassoon in a very high register, which renders the instrument almost unidentifiable. Eventually, other woodwind instruments are sounded and are eventually joined by strings. This grows and grows, until the second movement enters, with the
most intense driving strings.
His sense of harmony was both simple and advanced, often combining two, three, and even four key signatures at the same time. Despite the large orchestra, much of the score is written chamber fashion, with individual instruments and small groups having distinct roles. His ability to overuse
primitive rhythms is phenomenal. Layered counterpoint- two or more unrelated themes scored directly on top of each other- often create a chaotic beauty.
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