Saturday, September 13, 2014

Oedipus in Music

     As such an iconic piece of literature, it is no surprise that composers have used the story of Sophocles's Oedipus Rex in their compositions. Perhaps most renown today, Igor Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex has been performed both as an opera (much more dramatic and has awesome costumes) and as an oratorio. It was first performed in Paris in 1927, and not long after Leonard Bernstein (American composer, pianist, etc.... basically a renaissance man when it came to music) dubbed the piece one of Stravinsky's greatest works.
     The work is neoclassical, which makes sense considering the Athenian devotion to restraint and order. Here's a video of a performance of the opera conducted by Seiji Ozawa, with Philip Langridge as Oedipus. I picked this video specifically because of the awesome costumes. It's worth the watch if you like opera. Enjoy!

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