Time for a long, circuitous introduction to this week’s post. I guess y’all are used to that by now. Using Barbara Tuchman’s The March of Folly as the basis for a post title got me thinking of another one of her books, The Proud Tower. It’s the story of pre-Great War life in Europe including the wildly creative artistic culture of the Edwardian Era. One chapter dealt with the controversial debut of Sergei Diaghliev’s ballet production of Igor Stravinsky’s modernist classic, The Rite Of Spring; Le Sacre du Printemps for any francophones out there. It caused a helluva controversy as you can see from this New York Times headline from June 7, 1913:
If it were 2015, the NYT would try to blame the Clintons for that disorderly and rude reaction. Where was I? Oh yeah, the cover art for three versions of The Rite Of Spring:
The cover below dates from 1972 and shows the composer overseeing the springy pagany activity below. I’m surprised Lenny didn’t put himself on the cover. Bernstein always liked being at the center of things.
And now for something slightly different. It’s one of Leonard Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts from Mar, 26, 1962 on CBS. That’s right, long hair music on network teevee. It was Igor’s birthday and this is Lenny’s tribute to him in the YouTube playlist format: