The Rite of Spring

“Having assembled his folk melodies, Stravinsky proceeded to pulverize them into motivic bits, pile them up in layers, and reassemble them in cubistic collages and montages.”

Alex Ross on Stravinsky, in his book The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century. Quoted by Steven Poole in his excellent review.

Er, in case you’re wondering (as I was) what ‘motivic’ means, Wikipedia says that it’s “using a distinct musical figure that is subsequently altered, repeated, or sequenced throughout a piece or section of a piece of music”, and that it “has its roots in the keyboard sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti and the sonata form of Haydn and Mozart’s age.”