Believe it: The Rite of Spring, played on a harpsichord

Believe it: The Rite of Spring, played on a harpsichord


norman lebrecht

September 29, 2018


  • mr oakmountain says:

    Sounds like a late 1950s Twilight Zone film score 🙂

  • Robert Groen says:

    I believe it. Sounds fine to me. More colourful even than on a normal concert grand. Anyway, there is (almost) no end to the variety of musical ensembles and instrumentalists that have done the Rite. One piano, two pianos, eight pianos, church organ, string quattet, wind quintet, two accordions, I’ve heard them. I’m waiting for the penny whistle.

  • Martin says:

    I don’t believe it. It is not only one insgtrument. And it is done by a computer, not a harpsichord.
    Get your facts right, before someting something.

  • Midwest Maestro says:

    Just because something CAN be done doesn’t mean that it SHOULD.

  • John Marks says:

    Back in the day when I ran a microbrewery-sized independent classical-music label (JMR’s claim to fame was recording Nathaniel Rosen in the Bach solo-cello suites), for April Fools’ Day, I’d create a silly Press Release and send it to a few dozen friends.

    My favorite of those was announcing an upcoming recording of Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra on Elizabethan Period Instruments, by the “New New London Consort of Sackbutts and Cornettos,” on the theory that had Bartok lived into the time of the Period Instruments Craze, he would have realized the error of his ways.


  • John G. says:

    I think that the performance is quite successful! There is an “objectivity” to the harpsichord that enhances the music of Bach and clarifies the intricate rhythms of Stravinsky. This score would no doubt sound richer if performed on several fine harpsichords.

  • Alan says:

    I like it!
    (and there you have my two kopecks worth)

  • Mark Henriksen says:

    Oh my, I’m hearing things in the score I’ve never heard before, like an extreme lack of color and a monotonous sound like a telephone left off the hook.

  • John Boredslapp says:

    Finally! A version I can enjoy!

  • Ben G. says:

    I’m all for new musical ideas, thoughts, and optimism, but sorry–this is total rubbish and futile.

  • db says:

    Would be interesting if it weren’t performed by a computer but by, say, four actual harpsichord players. Poulenc demonstrated how well stravinskian chords can sound on this instrument.

  • John Borstlap says:

    Embarrassing nonsense….. it sounds like a caricature.

    The best recording of this incomparable masterpiece is, to my feeling, Markevitch’ recording with the Phiharmonia of 1960. Nowadays, when the piece often sounds domesticated – like a respectable ‘classic’, it is a relief to hear Markevitch doing it with all the necessary magic and existential anxiety: