The Rite of Spring – Spectre d’un songe
Released: May 2023
- Le sacre du printemps Pt. 1, The Adoration of the Earth
- Le sacre du printemps Pt. 2, The Sacrifice
- Spectre d’un songe
- Excerpt from Spectre d’un songe
- Excerpt from Rite of Spring
In 2019, pianist Kris Davis released the debut album from her group Diatom Ribbons, an ambitious, original project that was extraordinary for both its reach and its grasp. It was a propitious year for Davis, who is now in her early 40s. She …
A unique album! An album defined by both its ambition and its execution. It is unnerving to realise that Stravinsky’s ‘The Rite of Spring’ has been with us for 110 years: the power to thrill, surprise and challenge still there. …
Sylvie Courvoisier / Cory Smythe - The Rite Of Spring: Spectre D’un Songe – All About Jazz – Karl AckermannMay 1, 2023
Two daring jazz improvisers take on a cherished hundred-year-old classical ballet masterpiece with radical roots on The Rite of Spring: Spectre d’un songe. Igor Stravinsky was fresh off the success of his 1911 “Petrushka,” which radiated with the artistic atmosphere of …
Sylvie spent ten years creating and touring with the avant-flamenco dance master Israel Galvn on an acclaimed work called La Curva. At one point in the piece Galvn would strike a pose with arms raised overhead that reminded Sylvie of Vaslav Nijinsky, the star and choreographer of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. She began to respond as a jazz musician might with little quotes from the piece. This piqued the dancer’s interest, and Galvn expressed a wish to do a full project dancing to this music. Courvoisier created a solo version of the first three movements of The Rite and they performed it together at the Opera Bastille in Paris and received a strong positive response from Le Monde. However, she was shortly informed that the Stravinsky family would allow no independent arrangements of his work – if a piano version of The Rite was to be performed it must be the master’s original version for piano duet and nothing else.
Rather than reacting with disappointment, Courvoisier saw this challenge as an exciting prospect. She realized that she would need a partner who was an accomplished classical pianist who could help her with the proper rigor and detail of the piece. This person must also have serious improvisational skill because the plan was to group The Rite with an original work which she would create as a kind of response to it. She discussed the prospect with a close friend, saxophonist and composer Ingrid Laubrock, who immediately suggested Cory Smythe. Fortune smiled on this idea as Smythe had recently completed a run as Hilary Hahn’s accompanist, and was happy to have an additional creative opportunity to work as an improvisor. Sylvie wrote her musical response, Spectre d’un Songe, and was thrilled to find Smythe an equally strong partner in creating a new work as re-envisioning an old one.
Spectre uses primarily idiomatic impressions of The Rite but also specific reharmonization of previous Courvoisier creations in a Stravinsky-like mode of bitonality. In performing and recording these two works contiguously an additional subliminal conversation is created between them that manifests itself in dynamic interaction between the performers. In this way the reverberation of a classic masterwork is realized concretely in a present day creation.
releases May 19, 2023
Tracks 1-2 produced by Ryan Streber, Sylvie Courvoisier and Cory Smythe
Track 3 produced by Sylvie Courvoisier
La sacre du printemps composed by Igor Stravinsky
Spectre d’un songe composed by Sylvie Courvoisier
Recorded by Ryan Streber at Oktaven Audio, Mount Vernon, NY December 2-4, 2021
Mixed by Ryan Streber at Oktaven Audio, July 26th, 2022
Mastered by Scott Hull at Masterdisk, Peekskill, NY
Album art by Sophie Bouvier Auslnder
Cover photo by Mathieu Bernard-Reymond
Interior photo by Laurent Phillipe
Album design by Miles Okazaki
Liner notes by Ned Rothenberg
Special thanks To Ryan Streber, Ned Rothenberg, Sophie Bouvier Auslnder, Carole Fierz, David Breskin, Chelsea Hadley, The Shifting Foundation, Kris Davis, David Leon, Ann Braithwaite and Mrs. Bozo.
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