Young New Zealand conductor Gemma New makes her MSO debut with a stunning collection of American greats.
It was one day after the raging success of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue
that he was approached to write a “real piano concerto”, something
closer to the traditional classical model and orchestrated by the
composer himself. Rather than turn his back on the then current musical
forms, Gershwin decided to incorporate them. The result was Concerto in
F, a work that ranges effortlessly over different musical structures, to
create something truly wonderful and unique. Australian pianist Simon
Tedeschi joins the MSO for this performance.
There are suggestions of the Charleston, ragtime, jazz and blues
throughout the work, and flexibility in the way these elements emerge
from one another. Unsurprising from the composer ofPorgy and Bess, which refused to conform to set notions of opera or musical theatre, andAn American in Paris, which is as much a ballet and a musical. The Concerto in F is likewise a masterful, consummate fusion.
Accompanying this work is Copland’s Symphony No.3, another pillar of
20th century American composition. A grand and stirring work, composed
between 1944 and 1946, it suggests the mammoth achievements of the
United States at the close of WWII without a hint of triumphalism.
New Zealand conductor Gemma New brings with her a work by fellow New Zealander Salina Fisher,Rainphase. Inspired by the rain falling on the city of Wellington, it is sonically adventurous and beautifully evocative.