Gershwin, Barber, Honegger and Ravel @ West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge [1 July]

Gershwin, Barber, Honegger and Ravel

19:30 - 22:00

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West Road Concert Hall
11 West Road, CB3 9DP Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
Gershwin: Cuban Overture
Barber: Violin Concerto
Honegger: Paci c 231
Ravel: La Valse
Gershwin: An American in Paris

Soloists: Joo Yeon Sir (violin)
Conductor: Robert Hodge

For its abundance of energy, excitement, romance and colour, this programme cannot be bettered. George Gershwin’s ‘Cuban Overture’ was inspired by a holiday in Havana in pre- Castro days. Gershwin absorbed the essence of Cuban and indeed much of other Caribbean music and distilled it into this vibrant composition. His ‘American in Paris’ completes the concert: a longer work but every bit as characterful and just as thrilling. The orchestration is brilliant, incorporating a set of car horns among other curiosities.

The Violin Concerto by Samuel Barber is one of the great 20th century examples of its genre – much more romantic than Gershwin yet unmistakably American. Now a regular soloist with the CCSO, the immensely talented violinist Joo Yeon Sir will captivate us with her spectacular technique and profound musical insight.

Honegger’s depiction of a steam locomotive (called Paci c 231) is thoroughly gripping. No-one can fail to thrill as this giant ‘iron horse’ exes its muscles and starts to move, shifting its huge tonnage slowly at rst, then with ever- increasing speed and vigour.

Maurice Ravel’s La Valse was intended as a ballet but has gained more fame and friends as a concert item. The shadow of a waltz emerges from a musical mist to morph into a full-blooded, heart-stirring homage to the King of the Waltz, Johann Strauss.

Ravel’s immaculate orchestration and super-sensitive attention to every musical nuance will bring an extra sheen to what promises to be a knock-out concert.
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West Road Concert Hall

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