This week’s Symphonies of Iowa features the Des Moines Symphony’s “Rhapsody in Blue” concert. The orchestra performs works by Strauss, Shostakovich, Gershwin, and Ravel.
DMSO’s “Rhapsody in Blue” concert serves as their season finale of their 80th season. Pianist Charlie Albright joins DMSO to perform Gershwin’s iconic Rhapsody in Blue and Shostakovich’ Piano Concerto No. 2. Albright is a recipient of the prestigious 2014 Avery Fisher Career Grant and 2010 Gilmore Young Artist Award and has won the 2014 Ruhr Klavier Festival Young Artist Award presented by Marc-André Hamelin (Germany) and the 2009 Young Concert Artists International Auditions. Tune in to hear for yourself why the Washington Post describes Charlie’s playing as “an impressive range of differently colored sounds at the keyboard matched by overwhelming virtuosity” and a “sense of dangerous self-abandon that is thrilling to hear.”
Rhapsody in Blue, composed by George Gerswhin, was written with European symphonic music and American jazz music in mind. Gershwin also made sure to incorporate keyboard facility into the piece. The “blue” part of the title was inspired by American artist McNeill Whistler’s Nocturne in Blue and Green painting, a water scene painted in both blue and green. Rhapsody in Blue begins with a challenging clarinet cadenza, making it “as instantly recognizable as Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Olin Downes, New York Times music critic from 1924 said, “This is no mere dance-tune set for piano and other instruments.” Also featured on this concert is Strauss’ Voices of Spring Waltz, Shostakovich’ Piano Concerto No. 2, and Ravel’s La Valse. Don’t miss this week’s Symphonies of Iowa broadcast on Sunday, June 17th at 4 p.m. and again on Monday, June 18th at 7 p.m.!
J. STRAUSS, Jr. Voices of Spring Waltz
SHOSTAKOVICH Piano Concerto No. 2
GERSHWIN Rhapsody in Blue
RAVEL La Valse