As Russia marched towards revolution, her music was likewise headed for radical change. The Romantic spirit of Tchaikovsky—nowhere in greater evidence than in his magnificent Serenade for Strings—found its torchbearer a generation later in Sergei Rachmaninov. Meanwhile, Rachmaninov’s boyhood schoolmate Aleksandr Scriabin developed a bold new language of his own, as audacious as it was fiercely expressive. This summer’s first Concert Program follows the course of Russian music at the turn of the twentieth century, from Romanticism vers la flamme (towards the flame). The evening culminates with The Rite of Spring, Stravinsky’s sea-parting masterpiece that forever changed Western music.
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