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3/31/2003: I am going to be auditioning for a graduate program in orchestral conducting. One of the required segments that I have to conduct the orchestra is “The Glorification of the Chosen One”from Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring (rehearsal numbers 104 to 121). Stravinsky's meter changes with just about every measure. This normally does not concern me, but the fact that it goes from meters with an eighth-note base to meters with a quarter-note base confuses me immensely. I know conducting in eighth notes would probably be easiest mathematically, but physically it will be challenging for both my arm and for the poor performers reading this terribly difficult, but incredibly amazing, piece. Do you conduct this segment in eighth-notes, quarter-notes, or do you alternate?

I would beat this in quarters and dotted quarters as follows:

There is one exception: In the third measure of #116, molto allargando, beat 5 eighth-notes slightly faster than the speed of the previous quarter-note. Then, in the next measure, a tempo.

You need to practice this in your head and with your hands until it is memorized and natural. This is difficult music technically. It is like Rachmaninoff’s Third for a pianist and, similarly, it requires a long period of hard practice. (By the way, for me, the hardest part comes later, with the Danse Sacrale.)

2003 by Joseph Rescigno. The text here may be freely reproduced for non-commercial purposes as long as credit is given.

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