Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra’s adventurous season starts with a bang! Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra’s Music Director Joanna MacGregor joins Clark Rundell in a concert of rocket-fuelled American classics – John Adams, George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein.
Chicago-trained conductor Clark Rundell – a world-class leader in the field of jazz and contemporary music – opens his BPO debut concert with John Adams’ exhilarating Short Ride in a Fast Machine. No American composer of the last quarter of a century has composed so many significant works, and in Short Ride Adams packs an incredible amount of rollercoaster activity into just five minutes. George Gershwin’s Broadway-inspired piano concerto, composed a year after the colossal success of Rhapsody in Blue, showed he could do everything in this 1925 masterpiece – enfolding jazz inflections within a virtuosic, large-scale romantic structure. The orchestration is sumptuous too: trumpet and woodwind solos that would later characterize Porgy and Bess, pounding MGM timpani, and a cascading toccata finale. Charles Ives’ contemplative The Unanswered Question offers a moment of existential stillness before Leonard Bernstein’s hot-blooded Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. Be prepared to be blown away by the Jets and the Sharks, the mambo and cha-cha, Maria, the ultra-cool Cool and Rumble – and the gripping conclusion of this Romeo and Juliet tragedy, Somewhere.