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The Rite of Spring by Stravinsky& Chateau Petrus, Pomerol: by John Axelrod, February 29, 2012

RECORDING: Pierre Boulez, Chicago Symphony

The music of revolution and rhythm that changed the world and in which I find something new each time I hear it and also a wine different from the rest, that changed the way we think of wines, in which I taste something new each time I drink it (not often). In 1913, Stravinsky's Rite of Spring caused a sensation during the ballet, but once the music was performed in concert, the composer was carried on the shoulders of the public in triumph. What makes the music so special is not simply its avant garde architecture and primal rhythms, but also its melodic and sensuous appeal. It is both exotic and erotic in subject and in sound. The Petrus is considered the most sensuous of wines, not only for the cost, which is among the most expensive of all wines, but for the character of the wine, which lingers like a melody long after it is experienced. A Petrus is a rare experience not to be treated without respect. Stravinsky is an acquired taste always commanding respect. It takes virtuosity to play it, just as it takes a virtuoso to make the Petrus.