A Rite of Spring remade in total isolation

A Rite of Spring remade in total isolation


norman lebrecht

March 21, 2021

Members of the Swiss Ensemble Symphonique Neuchâtel, locked in lightboxes, performed the sacral dance from Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.

Each musician was recorded separately. The result, in one of the most complex rhythmic pieces, almost defies belief.

This ought to go viral. There has been nothing like it since Rotterdam’s March 2020 bedroom version of Beethoven 9th.

How did they do it? In collaboration with Swiss visual artists Supermafia, who created and directed the stunning visual design and sound-to-light technology, conductor Victorien Vanoosten and each of the orchestra musicians were filmed separately, each sound recorded separately. Each musician recorded his part inside a purpose-built light box – alone with the music and the image of the conductor in front of them. No individual performances were copied and pasted but, instead, musicians of the relevant orchestra sections returned to the light box sometimes as often as five times, in order to record up to five different instrumental lines.



  • Novagerio says:

    Absolutely brilliant!

  • Bill Ecker says:

    Ok, that’s a feat for the ages!

  • Stunning! says:

    Stunning performance and technically challenging, I’m sure. Bravo!

  • Friend says:

    Off-topic (didn’t know where to ask this):
    Has anyone news about the German-language fan of this blog nicknamed Sycorax? https://twitter.com/SLBinder2
    Her last contribution was here: https://slippedisc.com/2020/09/breaking-anna-netrebko-is-in-hospital-with-covid-pneumonia/

  • caranome says:

    This is the kind of reimagining n innovation classical music needs, to make it into a multimedia form that’s more accessible to the public. But it’s depressing to know that this great effort n artistic achievement will get maybe 50,000, 100,000 or even 1 million views, whereas some disgusting rap garbage will routinely get 10 million views n downloads.

    • Ashu says:

      I highly doubt if a person like you would really be happy to know that his favorite kind of music was the most popular music in society.

  • David R says:

    Wow. This is epic. Unlike Alondra’s failed attempt.

  • A “left-handed” piccolo????? Look at about 1’32. That was a first for me. Is it for real?

  • Guest says:

    What’s horror movie! They played in black and white for computer moderators!

  • Xe says:

    Well done…and they have an ambidextrous piccolo player too (1:33 / 1:46) 🙂
    Might want to provide a seizure warning for some viewers too.

  • They did a wonderful job with this…and this is what we have to admire during the pandemic…but it does not compare to being in the hall with live musicians and the ghost of Stravinsky.

    • Bob says:

      I agree. The video was cool to watch, but that was one of the least exciting and gripping interpretations of RoS I’ve ever heard.

  • Ashu says:

    I don’t see anything that seeks to normalize the current nightmare as anything to celebrate.