🎻♫♪ – Les Noces by Igor Stravinsky

List Item: Listen to half of the 1001 Classical Works You Must Hear Before You Die
114/501Title: Les Noces
Composer: Igor Stravinsky
Nationality: Russian

When this piece first started I really felt the need to double check that I had clicked play on the right thing. The beginning vocals have the feel of something more East Asian than what I would have immediately assumed from a Russian ballet. Then again, this is Stravinsky and things were about to get a lot more bonkers as it went on.

Like with The Rite of Spring, Les Noces (meaning ‘The Wedding’) is a primal piece. He is infusing more traditional folk music into his classical composition – which is likely where the beginning sounding more Asian probably came into it. It feels primal because… well you just have to listen to it without knowing what the ballet was meant to represent. If you had told me this was the music to Midsommer or The Wicker Man I would have probably believed you.

This is a stunning piece of work and will probably end up being one my favourite classical pieces that have been listened to for this list. Does it make me think that they are going to burn the bride alive at the end of the Wedding Feast? Well sure, but doesn’t that make things all the more fun!

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