By Modris Eksteins
A infrequent and noteworthy cultural heritage of worldwide battle I that reveals the roots of modernism
Dazzling in its originality, Rites of Spring probes the origins, influence, and aftermath of global struggle I, from the finest of Stravinsky's ballet The ceremony of Spring in 1913 to the loss of life of Hitler in 1945. spotting that “The nice battle was once the mental turning aspect . . . for modernism as a whole,” writer Modris Eksteins examines the lives of standard humans, works of recent literature, and pivotal historic occasions to redefine the best way we glance at our previous and towards our destiny.
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Extra info for Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age
With every season Diaghilev became more daring. The eroticism became more overt. It was there from the start, in Cléopâtre in the 1909 season — the tale about a queen who seeks a lover willing to die at dawn after a night of love — with its wild bacchanal scene of quickening tempi, great leaps of the Ethiopians, tossing flesh, and waves of silk and gold. But it became bolder. That caused the excite ment to turn in some quarters to disquietude. The scandale of the 1 9 1 2 season was the première in Paris on May 29 of Debussy’s L'Après-midi d'un faune, inspired by Mallarmé’s poem, choreographed and danced by Nijinsky, with art nouveau sets and costumes by Bakst.
Lights projected onto the façade emphasized the building’s whiteness, its simplicity, and high lighted the reliefs of Bourdelle’s frieze, Apollo and the Muses. Astruc observed the first-night audience arriving to hear the inaugural con cert devoted to Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini and Weber’s Der Frei schütz. On entering the hall, people seemed first to be blinded. Then they looked. Some became excited. Others sniggered. The majority, before voicing an opinion, waited to hear that of their neighbor.
Today the world’s greatest artists perform there. ” 1 Constructed between 1 9 1 1 and 19 13 , it belongs to the first generation of buildings to be erected with reinforced concrete. But in PARIS • 17 addition to the use of new materials, steel and concrete in place of brick or stone, a major concern of Perret was to incorporate and project in his work what he regarded as a new honesty and simplicity of style. Together with his contemporary Tony Gamier, he reacted against the prevailing heavy composite styles from the past or the current mannered mode of art nouveau, with its ornamentation and pretense.