IN SEARCH OF BRIDGING DIFFERENCES:

Homecoming Concert at Amherst College:

Gershwin's RHAPSODY IN BLUE &

Dvorak "New World Symphony" ENCORE performance

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Saturday, November 12, 2016 at 9:30-10:45 p.m.
[PLEASE NOTE THE LATE CONCERT START TIME to accommodate other Amherst College Homecoming events.]
Buckley Recital Hall, Arms Music Center, Amherst College

For its Homecoming Weekend celebration at Amherst College, the ASO presents an "encore" performance of Dvorak's stunningly popular "New World" symphony (see concert description for 9/24/16 for details on the work). 

This Homecoming concert, however, opens with the most celebrated work for piano and concert ensemble in the history of American music: the Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin (1898-1937).  From its opening glissando in the clarinet (improvised as a practical joke during a rehearsal but added to the score at Gershwin's insistence) to its triumphant closing chords, the Rhapsody is a tour de force written by a popular composer whose interests were beginning to turn to the composition of concert music.  Commissioned by Paul Whiteman, it was originally scored for jazz ensemble, but is now most often performed in the orchestration by Whiteman pianist and arranger (and composer of The Grand Canyon Suite) Ferde Grofe (1892-1972).  It perhaps represents the most famous of a period in "classical" music (the 1920's) when jazz influenced idiom and content of works by composers as diverse as Ravel, Milhaud and Stravinsky.  As a special Homecoming treat, former Assistant Director of Instrumental Music (2015-2016) Albert Yu '15 (who has performed the Beethoven third concerto and the Ravel G major concerto with the ASO) returns as soloist.

 

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