performance calendar
Sunday, April 30, 2017

Cutting Hall,
Palatine IL

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Fred P. Hall Amphitheater,
Palatine IL

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Fred P. Hall Amphitheater,
Palatine IL

Monday, July 3, 2017

Wallace Bowl at Gillson Park,
Wilmette IL

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Lagoon at Dawes Park,
Evanston IL

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Main Beach Bandshell,
Crystal Lake IL

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Fred P. Hall Amphitheater,
Palatine IL

program notes > S > Symphonic Gershwin, The

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The Symphonic Gershwin

George Gershwin/arr. Warren Barker


The Symphonic Gershwin contains three familiar works:

An American in Paris is a “rhapsodic ballet”, inspired by an overseas trip in 1928. An opening section is followed by a rich “blues” with strong rhythmic undercurrent as an American visitor, perhaps after strolling into a cafe, succumbs to a spasm of homesickness. In a coda, the spirit of the music returns to vivacity and bubbling exuberance, taxi horns contributing to the street noises and atmosphere.

Rhapsody in Blue was first performed by the Paul Whiteman Orchestra in 1924 with Gershwin playing the as-yet-unscored piano part “from the music in my mind.”

Cuban Overture embodies the polyrhythmic essence of the rumba with the unique percussive aspects of the island’s music.

George Gershwin (1898-1937) was a gifted American writer of popular songs, musical comedies, a folk opera and other art music. With his brother Ira as lyricist he wrote over a dozen successful musical comedies. He successfully blended popular and classical music.

Warren Barker (1923-2006) arranged this music. Educated at UCLA, Mr. Barker was an American composer for film, radio, television and Las Vegas clubs. He composed the incidental music for the hit 1960s TV series Bewitched and he composed and arranged numerous pieces for concert band.

Last updated on November 16, 2015 by Palatine Concert Band