Marin Alsop Conducts Rhapsody in Blue

Thursday 19th October

A high-octane all-American programme featuring the Marcus Roberts Trio opens the Philharmonia Orchestra’s series Let Freedom Ring.

 

This survey of a century of American music opens with a bang – the effervescent Drums, by James P Johnson, a key figure in the early years of jazz.

And there’s more time in the limelight for the Philharmonia’s percussion and brass sections in two fanfares – Joan Tower’s is dedicated to Marin Alsop, the ‘Uncommon Woman’ conducting tonight’s concert.

On the Town is Leonard Bernstein’s love letter to his adopted city. It was his first Broadway musical, written in 1944 when he was in his mid-20s.

Tonight’s Three Dance Episodes include the catchy hit New York, New York.

Many of the pieces in this series don’t just blur the boundaries between classical and popular music, they tear them up completely.

Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, with its unmistakable sliding clarinet opening, is perhaps the most famous example.

The virtuosity and almost telepathic rapport of the Marcus Roberts Trio, who visit London specially for Let Freedom Ring, takes this masterpiece of the Jazz Age to a whole new level.

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