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Baker's Dozen

The Spirit Is The Thing: Irmin Schmidt's Favourite Records
Sean Kitching , December 4th, 2015 10:46

As the former Can man releases his Electro Violet box set this week, he boils his all-time favourites down to a 'records of the day' selection, taking Sean Kitching from albums to individual songs and classical compositions


Igor Stravinsky - Le Sacre du printemps or Symphony in Three Movements
Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite Of Spring) is something: maybe one of the very few most important pieces of music in my life. I grew up listening to the radio, classical music, and then when I was about 14, I heard Le Sacre du printemps and I didn't understand it at all. It was something totally strange and frightening, totally otherworldly. At that time, I had sold my electrical train set and had bought a record player and the money I had left was just enough for two records. I bought Schubert's 8th, the 'Unfinished Symphony', and I bought the Stravinsky, which I didn't understand, which frightened me. It was my first record in a way, and there is no music that I have ever listened to so many times. I still have the record - it crackles like hell because it has been played thousands of times.

SK: Supposedly there was a near riot when it was first performed.

When it was performed for the first time, the reaction of the people was the same as me being 14. But I wanted to know what it was about and then it became one of my absolute favourite pieces and still is.

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