The bassoon’s opening curlicues, so well known, belie the musical mélée to come in Igor Stravinsky’s 1913 ballet score, The Rite of Spring.
Some conductors give the ensuing music a sharp edge that wants to slash at our earlobes. Others are more gentle.
We have an opportunity to catch a free, live web stream of excellent performance from 10 days ago, by the orchestra of La Scala, in Milan, conducted by hot 36-year-old Brit, Daniel Harding.
He manages to walk the fine line between edge and sensuality. The close, high-definition camera work actually helps place focus on the details of the piece in a way that sitting in the first balcony never could.
You can watch it at medici.tv, which has plenty of other delights on offer (registration is easy, and they don’t sent too many emails afterwards).