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The two works I choose are Igor Stravinskys The Rite of Spring and Rachmaninoffs Prelude Op 3 No 2 INTRODUCTION The high value placed on individuality and personal expression in the romantic era grew even more pronounced in the 20th century This was partly the result of several features of 20th-century life More and more people from different social and geographic backgrounds were able to study music and develop their aptitude for composition An enormous range of tastes and skills thus became a feature of modern composition Radios and recordings brought music from once-remote countries in South America and the Far East to the attention of musicians in all parts of the world The speed of modern communications made it possible for listeners to evaluate innovations more quickly than ever before The result of these features is that today originality and microtonal tunings THE RITE OF SPRING Nobody could have expected Igor Stravinsky to go on and produce such a startlingly novel work as The Rite of Spring Vesna svjash269ennaja 1913 Certainly the first night audience was taken by surprise excited to uproar by the violent rhythms of Stravinskys music and Nijinskys choreography By means of syncopation and rapid changes of metre governed almost all Western music since the Renaissance the rhythm now is angular and propulsive the musics main motivating force And it makes the score a perfect counterpart to scenes of pagan ritual in ancient Russia THEMES The Rite of Spring is a series of episodes depicting a wild pagan spring ritual the wise elders are seated in a circle and are observing the dance before death of the girl whom they are offering as a sacrifice to the god of Spring in order to gain his benevolence says Stravinsky of the imagery that prompted the genesis of the work Though the music is capable of standing alone and was a great success in the concert-hall in
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