Rubber chickens and children’s toys play Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring in riotous lockdown video

19 April 2021, 20:12

Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring Toy Orchestra
Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring Toy Orchestra. Picture: Chris Ott

By Kyle Macdonald

Ballet’s great depiction of springtime. And several rubber chickens were invited...

Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring is an unequaled masterpiece of 20th-century symphonic music. The ballet score’s strikingly modern rhythms, jagged textures and primeval tone famously caused an audience to riot at its premiere.

But when New York trombonist, beatboxer and composer Chris Ott wanted to record a version, he reached not for an orchestra, but for a big box of toys.

Assembling a symphony of bird callers, farmyard squeakers, rubber chickens, whistles, recorders and toy trumpets, Ott expertly arranges the ‘Augurs of Spring’ for his ensemble to creates a knick-knack calamity for the ages.

Watch: Someone fell asleep during The Firebird, then woke up SCREAMING on this chord >

The ‘Augurs of Spring’ is the first dance in Stravinsky’s 35-minute ballet score, and with famously stamping chords and irregular accents depicts a celebration of spring in the hills. In 1913 it was considered ahead of its time, and clearly, the boundary-pushing and musical rioting continues today...

We reckon this particular rendering is a masterpiece of musical invention and orchestration, and we’re sure Stravinsky would be proud.

If you’d like to follow more of Ott’s musical meanderings, subscribe to his channel on YouTube.

And for all those who like their Stravinsky with a touch of the bizarre, we have something else for you: The Rite of Spring courtesy of the Teletubbies. Watch below.