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What's With Today's Google Logo?

By Alexander Hough in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 17, 2009 6:15PM

Image from Google
Today is the 127th birthday of Igor Stravinsky, of course!

The logo is nice-looking, but can anyone out there figure out what the imagery stands for? The "G" and the first "o" are straightforward - his 1910 ballet "The Firebird" - but what's up with the rest of it? Are the flowers for "The Rite of Spring"? Or maybe "Les Noces"? Any ideas?

In any case, although it's a bit random, we'll take any excuse to celebrate the life of one of the 20th century's most important musical figures. Unfortunately, if you have a hankering to hear some Stravinsky live, you'll have to hold tight. The only performance on the docket is "A Soldier's Tale" on August 4 at Ravinia. Otherwise, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is playing a slew of the birthday boy's music in its upcoming season, including "Dumbarton Oaks," "The Firebird," "Ode," "Apollo," "Oedipus Rex," Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments, and, of course, "The Rite of Spring."

For those unfamiliar this last piece, "Rite" is the 1913 ballet that, after a brief introductory section, descends into a brutal, repetitive chord - actually, an F flat major chord on top of an E flat dominant 7 chord - that literally set off a riot at its premiere in Paris.

Not that an extreme reaction to the piece shouldn't have been expected. When Sergei Diaghilev, the director of the ballet company at the premiere, heard Stravinsky play the piece on piano for the first time, Diaghilev uneasily asked Stravinsky how long it would go on like that.

"To the end, my dear," Stravinsky replied.