Full Name: Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky
Years active: 1882-1971
Number of compositions: Lots?
Number of symphonies: 3
Number of concertos: 4
Number of string quartets: 0
Style: Stravinsky was one of the first true 20th century composers, not just in date, but in feeling. He didnt jump completely off the tonality wagon like the atonal dudes, but he did some crazy awesome stuff with dissonances and complex rhythms.
This is the riot guy, isnt it? Yes, Stravinskys best-known piece the Rite of Spring is famous for causing a riot when it was premiered in Paris. The extent of the unrest isnt clear, but there was definitely booing, storming out, and possibly audience members getting their heads beaten rhythmically with fists.
The Rite of Spring
This is by far the most famous piece by Stravinsky, renowned for causing riots at the premiere, because of the raw, primal nature of both the music and choreography. It is literally and musically savage: its about a bunch of savages, sacrificing a virgin to the god of Spring. A lot of his music has this spiky, dissonant quality to it, although nothing I know is quite like like the Rite.
Leonard Bernstein & London Symphony Orchestra – Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring, Suite from “The Firebird” (Expanded Edition)
The Infernal Dance of King Kastchei, from The Firebird:
This is from another of Stravinskys ballets, the Firebird. It has a similar sort of flavor to the Rite, but it isnt quite as deliciously violent.
Leonard Bernstein & New York Philharmonic – Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring, Suite from “The Firebird” (Expanded Edition)
Dumbarton Oaks Concerto
Stravinsky also went through a neoclassical period in which he wrote music in styles similar to Mozart and Bach. This piece is from that era. You can hear the lighter, more delicate sound in this piece when compared to the two above.
Robert Craft & St. Luke’s Orchestra – Stravinsky: Symphony In C, Symphony In 3 Movements, Octet & Dumbarton Oaks, Vol. 10