Ravel, who heard jazz in Harlem with Gershwin, was dumbfounded by the dazzling Rhapsody in Blue, which Gershwin played at a birthday party for the French composer. When Gershwin asked to study with him, Ravel said "It is better to write good Gershwin than bad Ravel." The jazz-influenced Concerto for the Left Hand was written for a pianist grievously injured during the First World War. The dark undertones of La Valse, an homage to Viennese waltz, suggest a furious farewell to gentility in post-war Europe. Elliott Carter's powerful Variations for Orchestra, another 20th-century masterwork, opens the program.
“Beyond [Marc-André Hamelin’s] electrifying technical skills, the Montreal native is probably one of the most complete musicians of his generation: a virtuoso.” —LA PRESSE
On Thursday, May 23, the San Francisco Symphony performs this concert at the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University. For more information about this beautiful, state-of-the-art venue, please visit sfsymphony.org/greenmusic.
San Francisco Symphony
All sound clips are from San Francisco Symphony performances and are used with permission of the SFS Players Committee.
Concert length is approximately 2 hours.
Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue