Start the car, I know a whoopee spot where the gin is cold but the piano’s hot. It’s just a noisy hall … and
Stravinsky: The Ebony Concerto
Shostakovich: Jazz Suite No 2
Glazunov: Saxophone Concerto
Respighi: Pines of Rome
Conductor: Robert Guy
Clarinet soloist: Sara Gibson
Saxophone soloist: Martin Little
For anyone who knows the missing line from the lyrics of Chicago, we weren’t sure we should associate Huddersfield Town Hall with a “nightly brawl”, but it certainly will be the place to be for a seriously jazz-influenced concert on 11 May 2019. There will be saxophones a-plenty and 2 solo performances to enjoy.
The composers featured in this programme are all linked in some mysterious ways. Glazunov and Respighi both studied with Rimsky-Korsakov, and Glazunov was an early benefactor to Shostakovich. Glazunov left Russia in 1928 and, after spending time in the USA, made his home in Paris, whereas Stravinsky left Russia for the USA in 1939 and made his home in Los Angeles.
While the Jazz Suites of Shostakovich are relatively well-known and certainly well-loved, Stravinsky’s Ebony Concerto, originally written for Benny Goodman, is something of a rarity of the concert hall and was originally scored for an orchestra based on a jazz band. Stravinsky intended to include an oboe – but the idea did not survive into the final version of the score.
Glazunov’s Saxophone Concerto may well have been his last work, composed in 1936 and is definitely cosmopolitan in its style, as opposed to nationalist. Respighi confines the musical pictures he paints to the city of Rome, with movements describing the Pines of the Villa Borghese, A Catacomb, Janiculum, and the Appian Way. It famously features a nightingale in a gramophone recording as part of the score.