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Succès de scandale

Related: fame - success - scandal - sensationalism

Examples: Le déjeuner sur l'herbe (1863)


Succès de scandale is French for "success by scandal", i.e. when (part of) a success derives from a scandal.

It might seem contradictory that any kind of success might follow from scandal: but scandal attracts attention, and this attention (whether gossip or bad press or any other kind) is sometimes the beginning of notoriety and/or other successes.

The archetypal example of succes de scandale in art is Stravinsky's Sacre du Printemps, premiered in 1913 by the Ballets Russes. The public attending this premiere was so scandalised by the brutal sounds produced by the orchestra, and the evocation of a blood sacrifice on the scene, that it literally tore down the theatre... this was 1913, the high days of the Belle Epoque. A shower of bad press and criticism followed. But Stravinsky kept aloof, as if he knew that overnight he had become the most famous composer of the 20th century, and that he never would have to recur to scandal again (he moved to chamber music and neoclassical style for the next few years, nothing with which to upset large audiences). From what he declared years later, he appeared still sure that he couldn't be beaten in exploiting a scandal for success, the way it had happened with Le Sacre du Printemps. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Succ%E8s_de_scandale [Oct 2004]

Classical music riot

A classical music riot is a riot that occurs upon (usually) the premiere of a controversial piece of classical music.

Examples include:

--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_music_riot [Jan 2006]

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