They were two very different composers - a Russian and an American - but each was a pioneer in his own way: Stravinsky and Gershwin. Le sacre du printemps caused a riot in Paris in which members of the audience attacked one another in a fight said to have resulted in injuries. With his Rhapsody in Blue for solo piano and jazz band, Gershwin provided a wonderful demonstration of how jazz and classical music could be united. Both works had one thing in common: rhythm would never be the same in classical music. Master pianist Ralph van Raat will treat the audience to two unique versions arranged for the piano.
Le sacre du printemps revolves around an ancient ritual with rhythm playing the leading role. Meanwhile, harmony and melody - the traditional ideals of beauty typical of classical music - are of less importance. The savage rhythms elicited in this masterpiece by a large orchestra roll like thunder over the listener. Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue is a favourite of many and might be his most well-known work. Although lacking swing and improvisation, it includes elements of both ‘white jazz’ such as instrumentation and jazz rhythms, and ‘black jazz’ such as the use of ‘blue notes’.
Artists and performers
Igor Strawinsky – Le sacre du printemps
George Gershwin – Rhapsody in Blue