“The Rite of Spring” in the Analytical Essays of Yuri Kholopov


In choosing contemporary music as a subject of serious study in the 1960s, Yuri Kholopov removed himself from the ideological sphere of the Soviets — and he was one of the first of his generation to make this choice. He overcame methodological vacuums of such times by using the power of his intuition and intellect to reinvent forgotten traditions of Russian and European music theory. Indeed, Kholopov’s scholarly and analytical apparatus is a synthesis of seemingly conflicting ideas of Hugo Riemann, Sergey Taneyev, Boleslav Yavorsky, Heinrich Schenker, Arnold Schoenberg, and Hermann Erpf. Kholopov’s conflation of these divergent analytic methodologies grew contextually out of the needs of analyzing particular works. Le Sacre was among the provocative works constantly attracting his analytic concerns, and he based most of his thoughts about it on a developing theory of modality. Thus my paper will discuss Yuri Kholopov’s analytical approach to The Rite based on his published and unpublished works on mode.