In celebration of summer, the Oslo Philharmonic sneaks an early start to the season in American style, with an outdoor concert on Slottsplassen.
We are convinced that George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story will lend the summer air in the capital a distinct and unmistakeable blue symphonic hue. There will be daring rhythms, hot musical melodies and cool jazz sounds, especially in the hands of an experienced conductor of Gershwin’s music, British Wayne Marshall, and enhanced by the voice of Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman. We guarantee you a powerful experience!
George Gershwin (1898-1937) and Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) both found different ways to combine strong American musical traditions. Gershwin had his big breakthrough with the iconic Rhapsody in Blue (1924) where classical elements and solistic virtuosity are fused with jazz effects and references to popular culture. This resulted in one of the most popular concert pieces in American music history, and the piece is as popular today as it was then.
Bernstein is perhaps best known in the orchestra world as a great conductor, but he was also a gifted composer, and one of the highlights of his work is the musical West Side Story (1957). Also here, the classical tradition is fused with jazz elements, and is characterised by a great rhythmical complexity, presenting such a rich variation that it is close to impossible to categorise the piece. Some of the most famous tunes are Somewhere, Mambo, America and Maria. Bernstein himself drew his Symphonic Dances from the musical.