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By Dan Lowell
WDR SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA COLOGNE
Lovers of 20th century American classics are in for an unforgettable evening at the Auditorio Nacional in Madrid on Thursday, the 28th of January, thanks to La Filarmonica who’s lining up George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein’s all-time favorites as interpreted by the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne (Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra) and directed by Wayne Marshall.
WDR Symphony Orchestra is the only symphony ensemble (52 members) in Europe that specializes in scenic musical compositions. As such it has become the point of reference for the interpretation of movie soundtracks, musicals and jazz-inspired compositions.
However, not one to get stuck to the great American music of the last century no matter how rewarding, the “youngish” orchestra which was founded by Allied authorities just after World War II, is out to conquer new audiences by breaking into the fascinating world of videogames. WDR Cologne was responsible for the launching of the dubstep music in 2012.
The symphony orchestra is not just a regular performer at major German music festivals. Its agenda takes it far beyond the national borders. For example, this January – and on to February – it will be touring Spain, from Barcelona to Alicante through Castellon, Madrid, Oviedo, Zaragoza and Murcia.
Since the 2014-2015 season Afro-British pianist and organist Wayne Marshall is the director of WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne. And most appropriate too. Marshall is internationally acclaimed for his inspired interpretation of works by Gershwin, Bernstein and other celebrated 20th century American composers.
In 2007 Marshall was appointed main Guest Director of the Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Orchestra of Milan. He is associate organist and interpreter of the Bridgewater Hall (Manchester).
For the 2015-2016 season he debuts with the Dresden Somperoper where he will give a rendition of Harbison’s Great Gatsby. Others in his tight schedule include concerts with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Taipei and Vienna symphonies and the Philharmonics of Malaysia and the Czech Republic.
AT THE AUDITORIO NACIONAL
In Madrid, on the 28th of this month, fans of American music will be regaled with an innovative musical flashback by the WDR Cologne-Marshall tandem in the form of a titillating fusion of blues, Negro spirituals, jazz and Hollywood and Broadway musicals.
Can one ask for more?
GEORGE GERSHWIN (1898-1937)
Overture of the musical “Of thee I sing” (1931). Duration aprox. 6 min.
Rhapsody in Blue (1924). Arrangement:F. Grofe. Duration aprox. 18 min.
GEROGE GERSHWIN/ROBERT RUSSELL BENETT
Gershwin in Hollywood (1938). Duration aprox. 10 min.
“The Back Bay Polka (The Shocking Miss Pilgrim)”
“A Foggy Day (A Damsel in Distress)”
“Slap That Bass (Shall We Dance)”
“Love Walked In (The Goldwyn Follies)”
“Nice Work If You Can Get It (A Damsel in Distress)”
“One, Two, Three (The Shocking Miss Pilgrim)”
“Love Is Here To Stay (An American in Paris)”
“They Can’t Take That Away From Me (The Barkleys of Broadway)”
LEONARD BERNSTEIN (1918-1990)
Symphonic dances from West Side Story (1957). Duration aprox. 24 min.
“Prologue”, Allegro moderato
“Scherzo”, Vivace e leggiero
“Mambo”, Meno Presto
“Cha-cha”, Andantino con grazia
“Meeting Scene”, Meno mosso
“Cool Fugue”, Allegretto
“Rumble”, Molto allegro
Overture of the musical Candide (1956). Duration apox. 4 min.
Suite of the musical Candide (1956). Duration aprox. 19 min.
“You Were Dead, You Know”
“Drowning music and the King’s Barcarolle”
“Ballad of Eldorado”
“I Am Easily Assimilated”
“The Best of All Possible Worlds”
“Make our Garden Grow”-
AUDITORIO NACIONAL DE MUSICA, Madrid
January 28, 2016
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