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George Gershwin

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Classical iconoclast

August 23

Elbphilharmonie Worldwide LIVESTREAM all week

Classical iconoclast Elbphilharmonique Worldwide - livestream all week ! Sunday 27th August 20hr German time Shanghai Symphony Orchestra (founded 1879, fully orchestral 1907) Aaron Avshalomov Hutongs of Peking  He Zhanhao, Chen Gang Konzert für Violine und Orchester »Butterfly Lovers« Dmitri Schostakowitsch Sinfonie Nr. 5 d-Moll op. 47 Maxim Vengerov, Conductor Yu Long Tuesday 29th August The Baltic Sea Symphony "Waterworks"conduted by Kristjan Järvi  Gene Pritsker Water Possessed,  Afresh Georg Friedrich HändelSuite Nr. 2 D-Dur HWV 349 (Auszüge) / Water Music / Charles ColemanDrenched  Philip Glass Konzert für Violine und Orchester Nr. 2 »The American Four Seasons«  Philip GlassAguas da Amazonia (Arrangement: Charles Coleman) Wednesday 30th Ingo Metzmacher conducts NDR Elbphilharmo Orhester Messaien Turangalîla-symphonie  Thursday 31st August The Gershwin Project with the Ensemble Eterna Brugge Friday 1st September 1900 hr   NDR Season Opening Gala Concert  Ludwig van BeethovenSinfonie Nr. 4 B-Dur op. 60 Ludwig van Beethoven Musik zu Goethes Trauerspiel »Egmont« op. 84 NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester,  Klaus Maria Brandauer narrator conductor Thomas Hengelbrock Nachtstudio Katharina Konradi soprano Víkingur Ólafsson piano

On An Overgrown Path

September 14

There should be no demarcation lines in music

My suggestion in a recent post that we are using a too narrow definition when discussing new audiences in particular and classical music in general leads me to Lalo Schifrin's Jazz Mass. In a Facebook comment on this thread Joshua Cheek astutely observed that "'crossover' is a dead end... it has become a genre unto itself". In crossover the imperative of the audience takes priority over the imperative of the music. But in the Jazz Mass art most definitely takes priority over audience despite Lalo Schifrin's reputation for acclaimed movie soundtracks. His Jazz Mass fearlessly challenges comfort zones: it incorporates contemporary modes, improvisation is a key feature and the Credo is aleatoric, with breathing cycles determining changes in vocal pitch and dynamics. The multifaceted and mystical flute virtuoso Paul Horn commissioned the Mass - which is sung in English - in 1964. His LP recording seen above, which was titled Jazz Suite on the Mass Texts as it does not strictly follow the structure of the Catholic Mass, won two Grammys. In 1998 Lalo Schifrin directed a concert recording in Cologne with the WDR Big Band which is equally commendable; this release used the less opaque title Jazz Mass. There are many other notable examples where the demarcation line between jazz and classical has been crossed. George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue was originally commissioned for solo piano and jazz band by Paul Whiteman, and only later orchestrated by Ferde Grofé. Dave Brubeck studied with Darius Milhaud, and György Ligeti acknowledged the influence of Bill Evans and Thelonius Monk on his Études for Piano. André Previn has recorded a number of successful jazz albums; his 1956 My Fair Lady with Shelly Manne and Leroy Vinnegar became a best-seller. Leonard Bernstein championed jazz, and on his 1956 Columbia spoken word LP "What Is Jazz?" he argued against the critics who preached that jazz is not art. In the 1950s Randy Weston's jazz trio was resident at the Music Inn resort in the Berkshires where its audience included Leonard Bernstein and musicians from the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The trio's bassist was the African American musician Sam Gill, who went on to become principal bass for the Denver Symphony. In the photo below Sam Gill is playing with Thelonius Monk (piano), Kenny Dorham (trumpet) and Willie Jones (drums) at Tony's, Brooklyn, NY.* New audiences remain top of the agenda, yet Lalo Schifrin's Jazz Mass is another work that is unfairly denied an audience. As jazz great Michel Legrand explained: "To me, both jazz and classical music have the same goal. There should be no lines of demarcation between them, for the end result should simply be - good music." * Sam Gill photo credit The Hospitality Suite. Any copyrighted material is included as "fair use" for critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Also on Facebook and Twitter.






Tribuna musical

May 16

Damrau and Testé: high point of the singing year

Last week´s Buenos Aires Philharmonic´s concert was outside the norm, for symphonic repertoire was left aside and the orchestra, under our seasoned operatic conductor Mario Perusso, accompanied the brilliant debut of German soprano Diana Damrau and her husband, French bass baritone Nicolas Testé. She has a splendid twenty-year career and is a rarity: a soprano of enormous range (strong lows, stratospheric perfect highs), histrionic at all times, equally convincing in drama and comedy. She was imaginative as Rossini´s Rosina, florid and light in Meyerbeer (so rarely heard here), dramatic as Gounod´s Juliet, heart-rending in Bellini´s mad scene from "I Puritani". Testé was a surprise for many; not as famous as his wife, he is certainly one the best bass baritones nowadays, with a firm beautiful voice capable of fine shading but also of stark drama: from the cunning of Basilio´s "La Calunnia" (Rossini), to the comic bravado of "Pif, paf" (Meyerbeer´s "The huguenots"), the noble line from the French version of Verdi´s "Don Carlos"(clumsily not announced), the intense aria from Antonio Gomes´ interesting "Salvator Rosa" and the sinister Alvise in Ponchielli´s "La Gioconda". As contained as his wife is adrenalic, nevertheless the two combined admirably in the closing "Bess, you is my woman now" (Gershwin). In the encores, Puccini arias from both and a lovely duet from Bernstein´s "West Side Story". Perusso and the orchestra shone in orchestral pieces of Rossini, Gounod, Saint-Saëns and Bernstein. For Buenos Aires Herald

George Gershwin
(1898 – 1937)

George Gershwin (September 26, 1898 – July 11, 1937) was an American composer and pianist. Gershwin's compositions spanned both popular and classical genres, and his most popular melodies are widely known. Among his best known works are the orchestral compositions Rhapsody in Blue (1924) and An American in Paris (1928), as well as the opera, Porgy and Bess (1935). He wrote most of his vocal and theatrical works, including more than a dozen Broadway shows, in collaboration with his elder brother, lyricist Ira Gershwin. George Gershwin composed music for both Broadway and the classical concert hall, as well as popular songs that brought his work to an even wider public. His compositions have been used in numerous films and on television, and many became jazz standards recorded in numerous variations. Countless singers and musicians have recorded Gershwin songs.



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