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This arrangement of the Rite of Spring is a project I've been working on for a number of years. It is one of my favorite pieces of orchestral music and I've greatly enjoyed the opportunity to delve deeper into the score in order to create an arrangement which, I hope, does justice to the original.
The arrangement is scored for wind quintet and piano, the same as the Sextet of Francis Poulenc; the timbres and textures of the Poulenc were a very helpful inspiration when it came to scoring the Stravinsky. While a lot of musical redistribution was necessary, I have tried to keep the 'iconic' solo lines on their original instruments as mush as possible, which hopefully explains some of the doubling on auxiliary instruments.
Another useful reference point for constructing the arrangement has been Stravinsky's own arrangement of the work for piano duet. It was very informative to see how Stravinsky liked to write for the piano – how chords are distributed etc., and also which melodies or harmonies from the original he decided to leave out.
Though tricky, it is possible to perform this piece without a conductor. It does take a bit of rehearsing, but hopefully this will result in a very exhilarating performance!
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