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Ulster Orchestra performs Banner
- featured work:
- Banner for solo string quartet and chamber orchestra
- Ulster Orchestra
“The Season ends with another musical postcard – this time a riotous carnival of rhythm from the USA! Bernstein’s thrilling set of Symphonic Dances are derived from his music for West Side Story. The influences of jazz and Latin run rampant throughout the music, while the romantic depiction of Tony and Maria’s fatal romance soar throughout.
As interest in swing and big band jazz waned, bandleader and clarinettist Benny Goodman approached Aaron Copland to commission a Concerto. The result is a sublime opening movement that resonates with all of the same open space that can be heard in the likes of Appalachian Spring, and a linking cadenza that shifts the mood from contemplation to the spiky jazz of the second movement. The ensemble’s energy builds and a Rhapsody in Blue-style glissando for soloist brings the work to a spectacular close. Our soloist is the wonderful Michael Collins.
Jessie Montgomery’s Banner was written on the 200th anniversary of The Star Spangled Banner and uses folk song, the US marching band idiom and other cultural anthems to question what a 21st century anthem in a multi-cultural society could, and should be.
The programme closes with Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess: A Symphonic Picture, which cuts a glorious symphonic cross-section through this American classic. The perfect concert to end the season and lead you into Summertime!”