Stravinsky's primal ballet score Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring) famously caused a riot at its 1913 Parisian premiere.
Stravinsky's primal ballet score Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring) famously caused a riot at its 1913 Parisian premiere. Some would say that the 20th century didn't actually begin until the hyper-sophisticated primitivism of these "pictures of pagan Russia" exploded in sound—and The Rite can still exert a powerful pull. An idiosyncratic, intrepid 30-year-old, the Turkish-born pianist Fazil Say has recorded the four-hand transcription of The Rite, overdubbing both parts—along with some prepared-piano tracks to add "orchestral" color. Purists may blanch, but fans of creative record-making will revel in the mix of visionary production and Say's vivid performances. At just over 30 minutes, though, even The Rite is short measure as the lone work on a full-priced disc. This is an enhanced CD, so there's an artful videoclip of Say playing Gershwin, Bach, and Stravinsky; this would've been a nice bonus at mid- price. Still, Say's Rite is a new-century classical venture par excellence.—BB