Sunday, February 24, 2019

Rhapsody in Blue at the Sacramento Philharmonic

Saturday's concert from the Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera was made up entirely of American music.  We even had a living composer, Loren Loiacono, who said a few words about her piece.  Our guest conductor was David Alan Miller who conducted Beethoven's 9th here in 2016.
  • Sleep Furiously  . . . Loren Loiacono.  The idea comes from a sentence by Noam Chomsky, "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously."  This featured some lovely playing from the cello section interspersed with a lot of percussive chords.   Loiacono was a student of Stephen Stucky.
  • An American in Paris . . George Gershwin.  You will remember this piece from the Gene Kelly movie.  Gershwin is fun.
  • Concerto for Orchestra No.2  . .  Stephen Stucky.  He was composer in residence at the LA Philharmonic for many years, and it was there he composed this piece for them.  There  are codes in the first movement made up of people's names, but there is nothing about them that would let you know which notes they are.  He is most interested in the orchestration.
  • Rhapsody in Blue  .  .  George Gershwin with pianist Kevin Cole.  This piece is like a one movement piano concerto which in this instance was played as fast as possible.  Too fast.
Our pianist played a couple of piano arrangements of Gershwin songs:  "Fascinatin Rhythm" and "I got rhythm."  He showed the appropriate jazz style but seemed to think we would be most impressed with his speed.  When I hear that someone is playing a song, I like to imagine someone is singing it. 

I apologize for complaining.  It was a fun concert, if somewhat loud.

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