To mark the one hundredth anniversary of The Rite, French conductor Francois-Xavier Roth summoned his band – Les Siecles’ – in what was carefully billed as the ‘first-ever period performance in the UK’ of Stravinsky’s revolutionary work.
Taut dry strings fought with a raw, bright and rounded wind and brass section faultlessly articulated throughout, creating a visceral musical orgy. The resulting drama was organic and other-worldly without a hint of the snobbery-fuelled nostalgia some period performance exudes.
Les Siecles’ performance reasserted The Rite a context often obscured by the myriad of comparatively mathematical interpretations of the work.
The first high-point of the 2013 Proms season.