Everything is ready – all details are finalized for the LSO’s “Sounds of Home” performance Tuesday April 26th at 7:30PM in Callaway Auditorium! This is a special season finale and homecoming concert as the LSO triumphantly returns to Callaway Auditorium, on the campus of LaGrange College. The LaGrange Symphony Orchestra is proud to present Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with guest artist William Ransom, along with Dvorak’s New World Symphony.
Here is an audio sample of the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra’s recent performance of Haydn’s Symphony No. 104 on Soundcloud. This performance was part of the LSO’s “Music in the Sanctuary” series held September 28 2021 thru March 15, 2022 at First United Methodist Church in LaGrange.
More about Tuesday Night:
Rhapsody in Blue by Gershwin, Jazz-influenced and unforgettable
Experience the phenomenal Gershwin composition, Rhapsody in Blue, featuring internationally celebrated pianist, William Ransom! – April 26th at 7:30 PM with the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra. Ransom is described as technically perfect, powerful, and one of the greatest of the new generation of pianist. This is a performance you won’t want to miss.
The sound quality and rich acoustics of Callaway Auditorium let each audience member feel as if they are immersed in the music. This undeniably unique piece of music, which melds several themes into a wonderfully cohesive idea, is at its absolute best experienced LIVE.
Rhapsody in Blue was commissioned by band leader Paul Whiteman. In February of 1924, this piece premiered in New York during a concert entitled, “An Experiment in Modern Music”. The piece was played by Whiteman’s band, and featured… you guessed it, George Gershwin on piano. Who better to interpret the score? The success of this work solidified Gershwin’s credibility as a serious composer. (and became the bands signature piece)
New World Symphony by Dvorak – composed in America
- described with influences from African Spirituals and Native American songs
- has since become his signature piece
Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904) was from Bohemia, or Czech Republic, which is an area bordered by Poland and Austria. As we discussed last month, Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) influenced and mentored many composers in his long lifespan. Dvorak was one of them. It was through Brahms’ recommendation in 1877 that Dvorak was commissioned to write Slavonic Dances (LSO Embrace Life performance 3/2018). Slavonic Dances is considered Dvorak’s big break, which launched his career.
So, why did Dvorak come to America?
In the early 1890’s, Dvorak made a very lucrative career move and became the director of the New Conservatory of Music in New York. During this time in North America, he wrote some of his most famous works, including the New World Symphony. This great piece will be brought to life by the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra 4/26/2022 in Callaway Auditorium (LaGrange, Georgia). 7:30 PM (Sounds of Home concert Tickets HERE)
Dvorak only stayed in the US three years. He, quite naturally, preferred to be back in his Czech Republic homeland. However, while he was here he grasped the opportunity to study all of the unfamiliar culture, music, art, and poetry that this endeavor supplied him. For the New World Symphony, he used elements characteristic of African spirituals with rhythmic syncopation and flat sevenths. A summer trip to Iowa also offered inspiration toward this composition through seeing expansive vistas, hearing Native American songs, and through the words of Longfellow’s poem “Song of Hiawatha.”
In a much later time period, it is believed that New World Symphony was included in music taken into space on the Apollo missions. We are talking about music put onto cassette tapes that the astronauts could listen to in their down time. This was music of the astronauts choosing and was not really publicized. (There is an unconfirmed legend that they played New World Symphony as Neil Armstrong took his first steps on the moon in July 1969.) Still, could Dvorak have ever imagined the achievable reach of this piece?
This Tuesday Night!
Tickets are available online HERE, or at the box office on Tuesday night. We look forward to celebrating this wonderful homecoming with you Tuesday, April 26th, 2022 at 7:30 PM in Callaway Auditorium, on the campus of LaGrange College, LaGrange, GA.
Thank you for supporting the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra.