Arrangement for Disklavier and solo pianist, April 22 2009 at EMPAC, Troy NY. The first reactions to the Rite of Spring precede by a full year the riotous première staging of the ballet in the spring of 1913. Igor Stravinsky brought his piano duet arrangement of the score to a Paris party in June 1912 and persuaded fellow composer Claude Debussy to perform it with him, at sight. The run-through might have been a rocky, if not fraught experience; Debussy wrote 6 months later that “it haunts me like a good nightmare, and I try in vain to recover the impression”. Another auditor recalled “we were dumbfounded, overwhelmed by this hurricane which had come from the depths of the ages and which had taken life by the roots”. Tonight’s half player piano arrangement is in keeping with Stravinsky’s own treatment of his most famous creation. He supervised the programming of two piano roll transcriptions in 1915 and 1921, both cut mechanically/graphically rather than recorded. A Modernist icon that’s nearly a century old, the Rite is well served by this black and white rendition, if only as antidote to its cut-up overuse in countless film scores, and especially to the bowdlerized version that appeared in Disney’s Fantasia, which omits entirely its shattering finale, the Danse Sacrale. What is lost in the lushness of the orchestration is made up for by the structural transparency and rhythmic clarity of the piano duet.