Los Angeles Master Chorale / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical

The Stravinsky snippet quoted by Michael Jackson, New Order, U2, Prince, NWA, Bruno Mars, and countless others

The music of Igor Stravinsky takes over Walt Disney Concert Hall for three different sets of programs over the next two weekends, led by one of its most ardent advocates, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and played by one of its best orchestral interpreters, the Los Angeles Philharmonic along with the Los Angeles Master Chorale and various other guests.

I, for one, could not be happier, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.  Too much Stravinsky is never enough.

Which reminds me of a great bit of Stravinsky-related trivia I learned last year . . .

While the esteemed composer lived more of his life in Los Angeles than any other city in the world, he’s best known as a citizen of the world and a musical polyglot.  But I doubt even he would have predicted the breadth of musical genres his influence would pervade 100+ years after his birth.  And no, I’m not just talking about neoclassicism, 12-tone serialism, or even jazz.  I mean New Wave, R&B, pop, rock, and Hip Hop.


The number of times the “Infernal Dance” from Stravinsky’s Firebird has been quoted by the Western World’s most popular musicians is astounding.  You’ve certainly heard it within songs by such an unlikely collection of acts as Michael Jackson, U2, Prince, New Order, Britney Spears, NWA, The Backstreet Boys, Afrika Bambaata, The Smiths, Jennifer Lopez, and on and on . . .

And I’m betting that even if you’re the most devoted of Stravinsky fans, you probably never realized it.  Don’t believe me?  Not sure what I’m talking about?

Read this academic article from the journal, Popular Music:  “The Story of ORCH5, or, the Classical Ghost in the Hip-Hop Machine” written by Robert Fink of the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.

Or if you prefer not to get all ivory-towery, just watch the excellent video below.

And while you’re at it, read these reflections on the LA Phil’s ties to Stravinsky during it’s 100 years of existence, then do whatever you can to get to one of these concerts:

Los Angeles Philharmonic: Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor; Walt Disney Concert Hall
April 12-13, 2019
Brian Lauritzen, host (April 12 only)

Funeral Music, Agon, and The Rite of Spring

April 14, 2019
Andrew Staples, tenor
Kelley O’Connor, mezzo-soprano
Davóne Tines bass-baritone
Heidi Stober soprano
Los Angeles Master Chorale (Grant Gershon, Artistic Director)

Requiem Canticles; Introitus (TS Eliot in Memoriam); In memoriam Dylan Thomas; Mass; Elegy for JFK; Chorale Variations on “Vom Himmel hoch, da komm’ ich her”; Cantata

April 18-20, 2019
Peter Sellars, director
Paul Groves, tenor
Cécilia Tsan, narrator
Amrita Performing Arts, Cambodia
– Sam Sathya, dancer (Perséphone)
– Chumvan Sodhachivy, dancer (Déméter)
– Nam Narim, dancer (Mercure, Démophoon, Triptolème)
– Khon Chan Sithyka, dancer (Pluton)
James F. Ingalls, lighting designer
Helene Siebrits, costume designer
Frederick Vogler, sound designer
Los Angeles Master Chorale (Grant Gershon, Artistic Director)
Los Angeles Children’s Chorus (Fernando Malvar-Ruiz, Artistic Director)

Orpheus and Perséphone

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