About the composition


L'Élue (The Chosen One) is written as a companion piece to Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring). L'Élue is a prelude not just in the musical sense. Its story precedes the actions in the ballet Le Sacre du Printemps.  


Stravinsky’s ballet focusses on the collective actions of a pagan tribe. In L'Élue the attention is shifted to the individual within this tribe. The composition explores the feelings of a young woman, who is afraid of becoming the Chosen One for this year’s sacrifice.


Stravinsky’s concept of Day and Night for the first and second part of Le Sacre du Printemps (as describe in The Rite of Spring: sketches 1911-1913, page xxi) are mirrored in L'Élue.

The composition starts with an impression of the night. At dawn, the first signs of  Spring appear. This is noticed by the young woman, presented by the Alto Flute. The realization that the tribe’s yearly Spring sacrifice approaches fills her with dread. In a premonition, she sees herself as that year’s the Chosen One. The premonition dissolves, after which Le Sacre du Printemps is performed attacca. 



Year of composition:




5 min.



5[1.2.3/pic2.pic1.afl]5[1.2.3.Eh1.Eh2]5[E♭cl.1.2.bcl1.bcl2]5[1.2.3.cbn1.cbn2] - 85[pic tp.]32 - 2tmp+3 - str






NJO National Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands

Antony Hermus, conductor

13, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20 January 2023


Commissioned by:

AVROTROS Vrijdagconcert