“Rhythm and Dance” with Kent Nagano at the Waldbühne

25 Jun 2000
From the Berlin Waldbühne

Berliner Philharmoniker
Kent Nagano

Momo Kodama, Mari Kodama, Eitetsu Hayashi, Susan Graham

  • Leonard Bernstein
    Candide: Overture (5 min.)

  • Jean Pascal Beintus
    He Got Rhythm (8 min.)

    Momo Kodama Piano, Mari Kodama Piano

  • Maurice Ravel
    La Valse, Poème chorégraphique for orchestra (13 min.)

  • Isao Matsushita
    Hi-Ten-Yu (17 min.)

    Eitetsu Hayashi Wadaiko

  • Eitetsu Hayashi
    Utage (5 min.)

  • Zhao Jiping
    My favourite Concubine, suite (17 min.)

  • Maurice Ravel
    Daphnis et Chloé, Suite No. 2 (16 min.)

  • George Gershwin
    Fascinating Rhythm (3 min.)

    Susan Graham Mezzo-soprano

  • George Gershwin
    The Man I Love (4 min.)

    Susan Graham Mezzo-soprano

  • George Gershwin
    Nice Work (2 min.)

    Susan Graham Mezzo-soprano

  • George Gershwin
    Someone To Watch Over Me (4 min.)

    Susan Graham Mezzo-soprano

  • George Gershwin
    Porgy and Bess: “Summertime” (6 min.)

    Susan Graham Mezzo-soprano

  • Leonard Bernstein
    On the Town: Three dance episodes (10 min.)

  • George Gershwin
    I Got Rhythm (5 min.)

    Susan Graham Mezzo-soprano

  • Paul Lincke
    Berliner Luft (4 min.)

The summer concerts given by the Berliner Philharmoniker in the city’s open-air Waldbühne amphitheatre are relaxed and sociable occasions that enjoy cult status. Before each concert the audience traditionally performs the sort of Mexican wave more familiar from sports stadiums. Kent Nagano made his debut in this very special arena in June 2000 and conducted a concert under the title “Rhythm and Dance”, providing an impressive demonstration of just how different rhythms and dance music can sound in different parts of the world.

 

We start with a trip to Broadway for He Got Rhythm, a tribute to George Gershwin by the French composer Jean Pascal Beintus. It is difficult for listeners to stop their feet from tapping in time with the music’s jazz rhythms. And even Ravel’s valedictory homage to the Viennese waltz, La Valse, encouraged the audience to dance along with it and revel in its triple-time metre. Next came Eitetsu Hayashi, who gave the audience a lesson in the traditional Japanese art of drumming. The dedicatee of Hi-Ten-Yu – literally “Fly-Heaven- Play” – by the Japanese composer Isao Matsushita, Eitetsu Hayashi proved a virtuoso exponent of the solo writing in this concerto for drums and orchestra. Also from the Far East, but this time from China, came the suite from the film score to Farewell My Concubine, a bitter-sweet love story that helped its director, Chen Kaige, to achieve his breakthrough in the West.

 

The Second Suite from Ravel’s ballet Daphnis et Chloé provided dance music of the noblest kind before the programme returned to its starting point with a selection of immortal hits by George Gershwin. Susan Graham, who in the view of Gramophone magazine is “America’s favourite mezzo”, brought charm and a meltingly beautiful voice to the final numbers on the programme. After her delightfully relaxed performance of “Summertime”, Kent Nagano, too, leant back, laid aside his baton and left the orchestra to play on its own in the traditional final encore, Paul Lincke’s Berliner Luft.

EuroArts

© 2000 EuroArts Music International

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