Extinguishing the “Petty ‘I’ ” (Transcendentalism, I)

in Music in the Early Twentieth Century

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780195384840
Published online July 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199773572
Extinguishing the “Petty ‘I’ ” (Transcendentalism, I)

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The “Sacrificial Dance” at the end of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring reaches its dénouement in a massive crunch, denoting a strain the body of the Chosen One can no longer bear. Afterward there is only a tiny coda (reminiscent, perhaps, of the way the “March to the Scaffold” ends in Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique) that tracks the concluding mimed action closely: she crumples (flute glissandi); the elders rush up to catch her (sweeping upbeat figure); she collapses in a heap (concluding thump).

Chapter.  20177 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Romantic Music

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