Last night, Grasshopper and I went to see the Minnestoa Youth Symphony Orchestras perform. The orchestras all did very well, but we were waiting for the final one, where one of my Kung Fu "brothers" (recently promoted black belt) was playing the viola.
They played Igor Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring".
It is one of my favorite pieces, and I love it, but I have never heard it performed live. Know why? Because it takes a big set of brass-plated titanium balls to perform this piece live. No other youth orchestra has ever attempted it before in Minnesota.
For those of you who may not know, when the "Rite" was first performed in Paris in 1913, it's intensity and avante guard nature caused riots. Stravinsky left the auditorium in tears. His masterwork appeared to be a disaster. 26 years later, it was featured in Walt Disney's fantasia.
Stravinsky was just three decades ahead of his time.
The kids did spectacularly with it. It was just a marvelous performance. In the middle, the conductor was conducting so furiously, that his baton snapped in half, and part of it went sailing into the middle of the orchestra.
The experiance was so intense that Grasshopper turned to me in the middle and begged to leave. And yet we couldn't bring oursevles to actually walk out.
My heart pounds just thinking about it.
Good thing I had the 9-year-old along. I might have been tempted to start a riot.