Utah Arts Review – A powerful “Rite” and dazzling Mozart from Utah Symphony, Fellner

by Edward Reichel

Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring is a classical mainstay and a favorite of Utah Symphony music director Thierry Fischer, who has it back on the program this weekend at Abravanel Hall in a spot-on interpretation that again brings one of orchestral music’s default works to thrilling life.

Fischer on Friday knew just what he wanted to cull from Stravinsky’s score, and the orchestra responded with a virtuoso performance. Fischer used the updated, 1947 version, but all of the brutal force and violent polyrhythms and syncopations of the 1913 original are present, and its impact is still tremendous.

Much can be said about the roughness of the music, but there are plenty of lyrical and impressionistic elements in play: The opening bassoon solo, in the instrument’s highest register, has a charm that doesn’t hint at what’s about to be unleashed, and principal Lori Wike played it beautifully.

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