Songs reflecting the daily lives of people in the 19th century were performed in rhapsodies – free-form works based on various folk tunes. In 20th century the city becomes the main source of people’s music: jazz, street music, rhythms inspired by the industrial world have been invading composers’ scores, and new surprising genres have been born. The rhythm of city life, visuals, culture – all became a new source of inspiration for artists who, in their works, blended the rhythm of their lives into rhapsody. “Trimitas” blended the sound of the early twentieth century into the “The 20th Century Rhapsody. “
These are emblematic, but rarely performed in Lithuania in the 20th century a theatrical performance of the first half of an opus that combines the spirit of that period into a stage-directed whole. American George Gershwin, Russian Igor Stravinsky and Frenchman Erik Satie left an indelible mark on the music of that time. In the midst of an ever-modernizing rhythm of life, they wrote pieces that were imbued with the new urban atmosphere. The special stage lighting, performers’ outfits and theatrical stage action created for this concert help to give them a new meaning and look from the present perspective.
During World War II, popular jazz echoes with I. Stravinsky’s Ebony Concerto (1945), written in the tradition of Baroque “Concerto Grosso”, known as the most ambitious and successful of all the composer’s “flirtations” with jazz. Experimenting with different styles, popular in the modernist era, is not the only fascinating aspect of this work: the composer seems to have sought to discover and exploit the sound of a new combination of clarinet and jazz.
The concert will be followed by G. Gershwin’s famous work Rhapsody in Blue (1924), which combines American musical and European classical traditions, and will feature his original piano and jazz ensemble. Renowned for his fusion of classical music and jazz elements, Gershwin’s composition not only established his reputation as a serious composer, but also became one of the most popular American concert productions. The concert will be completed by a version of E. Satie’s ballet Parade (1917) for jazz beats and taverns for wind band (arranger Guus Dohmen). At the beginning of the modernist era, the scandalous work, which saw the light, received violent reactions at the premiere and for E. Satie – eight days in prison. Still, the music of the composer punished for “public insult and defamation” is astonishing – a typewriter, a car alarm, bottles, a shotgun and a siren sound beside traditional instruments.
Ebony Concerto by Igor Stravinsky (1945)
Rhapsody in blue by George Gershwin (1924)
Erik Satie Parade (1917), version for brass band (arranger Guus Dohmen)
Petras Geniušas (piano)
Rimvydas Savickas (clarinet)
Conductor Aleksandras Šimelis
Directed by Birutė Mar
Choreographer Sigutė Ilgauskaitė
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