It still shocks, astounds, and thrills me every time! —Jeffrey Khaner on The Rite of Spring
On February 22, The Philadelphia Orchestra performs its third of four programs at Carnegie Hall this season. The orchestra's principal flutist, Jeffrey Khaner, discusses the final piece on the program, Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring.
I remember so clearly my first meeting with this great masterpiece of the 20th century. I was 14 years old and attending a summer music camp. A friend grabbed me and said, “Come with me! You’ve just GOT to hear this!” We went to the listening library and put on headphones and she lowered the needle on the LP. I was stunned! We listened all the way through, and then ran to get a score to listen again with the music before us. I remember thinking, “This must take MONTHS to put together! How do they stay together? How do they COUNT this?!” I have played The Rite of Spring countless times since then. And I confess, even though it has become standard repertoire (dare I say "warhorse"?), I am still amazed that an orchestra like my Philadelphia Orchestra can do it on one rehearsal. It still shocks, astounds, and thrills me every time!
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