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 Pacific 231) is thoroughly gripping. No-one can fail to thrill as this giant ‘iron horse’ flexes its muscles and starts to move, shifting its huge tonnage slowly at first, 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.
Admission: £18, £16 (concessions), £8 (students), £5 (under 14)
- Phone: 01223 300085 (12:30 - 16:00 on Monday, 12:30 - 19:00 Tuesday - Friday, and 15:00 - 19:00 on Saturday).
- In person: ADC Box Office, Park St, Cambridge, CB5 8AS – just off Jesus Lane