“Rhapsody in Red, White & Blue!”

SASO plays Gershwin Boyer and Rosauro

George Gershwin was an American composer and pianist whose
compositions spanned popular, jazz and classical genres. He composed the
music for the musical Funny Face, with lyrics by Ira Gershwin, and book by
Fred Thompson and Paul Gerard Smith. At its opening in 1927, it starred Fred
Astaire and his sister Adele, and was the first show in which Fred Astaire
danced in evening clothes and a top hat. The lighthearted plot involves the
mishaps of bumbling thieves, but the show includes some memorable songs
that also appear in the Overture, such as ‘S Wonderful and He Loves and She

Peter Boyer is an American composer, conductor, orchestrator, and professor
of music. He is known primarily for his orchestral works, which have received
over 600 performances by more than 250 orchestras. His Rhapsody in Red,
White & Blue
was commissioned by pianist Jeffrey Biegel, as part of a project
to celebrate the centennial of George Gershwin’s 1924 composition Rhapsody
in Blue. Peter Boyer writes: “Like the Gershwin work, my Rhapsody is in a
single long multi-sectional movement. As Gershwin did a century ago, I have
attempted to capture a sense of American energy and optimism in much of this
music. Though my musical style typically does not employ any jazz elements,
in this work it seemed appropriate to include some allusions to a 1920s,
‘quasi-Gershwin’ style. There is one section of the work, largely pastiche,
which does this, in the form of a ‘bluesy scherzo.’ The slow, lyrical section of
the work, coming after its midpoint, might be heard as both an allusion to
America’s wide open spaces, and to my personal belief in the country’s
promise, despite its many challenges.”

Ney Rosauro is a Brazilian composer and percussionist. His compositions
include solo works written for marimba, vibraphone, and multi-percussion, as
well as several concerti for solo percussion and orchestra. A common theme
in his work is the use of traditional Brazilian rhythm and melodies. The
Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra is dedicated to the composer’s son
Marcelo. Originally written for marimba and string orchestra, it rapidly became
part of the standard literature for percussion, and has been performed by more
than 3,000 orchestras worldwide. The solo part explores the many possibilities
of modern four-mallet marimba technique.

Porgy and Bess

The opera Porgy and Bess has music by George Gershwin and a libretto by
DuBose Heyward and Ira Gershwin. Its first performances in 1935 featured
a cast of classically trained African-American singers, a daring artistic choice
at the time. It tells the story of Porgy, a disabled black street beggar living in
the slums of Charleston, and his attempts to rescue Bess from the clutches of
Crown, her violent and possessive lover, and Sportin’ Life, her drug dealer.

George Gershwin wrote: “Porgy and Bess is a folk tale. Its
people naturally would sing folk music. When I first began work on the music
I decided against the use of original folk material because I wanted the music
to be all of one piece. Therefore I wrote my own spirituals and folksongs. But
they are still folk music — and therefore, being in operatic form, Porgy and Bess
becomes a folk opera.” The Symphonic Picture was assembled and arranged
in 1942 by Robert Russell Bennett, Gershwin’s friend and sometimes assistant.
It includes most of the best-known tunes from the opera.
-Tim Secomb

Guest Soloist

Bryan Pezzone is the consummate crossover pianist of his generation. He has
excelled in classical, contemporary, jazz, and experimental genres and is known
for his versatility and virtuosity as a performing artist, improviser and
composer. He has performed with many major symphony orchestras, has
toured widely with the jazz group Free Flight, and is a leading freelance pianist
in the Los Angeles area for both recordings and live performances. He
received his Bachelor of Music from the Eastman School of Music. From 1987
to 2000 he was on the piano faculty at California Institute of the Arts where
he created their multi-focused keyboard program. He was principal pianist in
the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra from 1991 to 1999. In 2000, he relinquished
these positions in order to discover new paths, and he remains passionate
about continuously redefining himself and his role as an artist, musician, and
person in today’s complex and eclectic culture.

Ticket Links
Saturday, October 7
DesertView Performing Arts Center
39900 S. Clubhouse Drive, SaddleBrooke
Saddlebrooke ticketing link

Sunday, October 8
St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, SW Sanctuary
7575 N. Paseo Del Norte, Tucson
Tucson series ticketing link
For more information about the season and to purchase tickets, visit our website at:https://sasomusic.org/buy-tickets/
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