The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky describes the ritual sacrifice of a maid whose tribe forces her to dance to death in order to obtain a benevolent treatment from the gods. Béla Bartók’s The miraculous Mandarin tells the story of a young girl who seduces a mandarin who is robbed and drowned by some tramps, and whose body shines mysteriously before dying. These two ballets share stories full of imagination and cruelty. They were both regarded as transgressor and scandalous by the audience on their premieres. The first performance of The Rite of Spring, which took place in Paris in 1913, went done in history as one of the most absolute failures and his music was described by the critics as “a noisy incomprehensible succession of sounds and noise”. On the other hand, the premiere of The miraculous Mandarin in Cologne in 1926, offended the audience to such an extent that the police had to intervene and its performance was temporarily forbidden. This concert, which also includes the first performance of a composition expressly created for Quantum by Laura Vega, is an invitation to think on how masterpieces eventually prevail, beyond the rejection they produced at their time due to their radical nature and originality.
Cristo Barrios 2017
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