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Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra Highlights “Unusual Instruments” in December Concert
Dec 13, 2015 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm| 20; seniors and museum members $10; children 16 and under free.
The Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra’s December program features three works written for instruments not commonly heard in an orchestral setting: George Gershwin’s Cuban Overture, Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, and the “Riverdance” Symphonic Suite by Bill Whelan.
Gershwin’s Cuban Overture is dominated by Caribbean rhythms and Cuban native percussion instruments including bongo, claves, gourd, and maracas, with a wide spectrum of instrumental color and technique. It is a rich and exciting work with complexity and sophistication, illustrating the influence of Cuban music and dance. Its main theme was influenced by a then current hit by Ignacio Piñeiro, “Échale Salsita”.
While certainly not an “unusual” Instrument, the guitar is very rarely used as a concerto instrument. The Concierto de Aranjuez is by far the best-known guitar concerto; its famous second movement has been reinterpreted by many artists, notably Miles Davis and Gil Evans in “Sketches of Spain”.
The original scoring for Bill Whelan’s music for the stage show “Riverdance”used mainly folk instruments, including penny-whistles, Celtic harps, and Irish fiddles. His Suite is a successful transposition of those particular “unusual” sounds for the more conventional setting of the modern symphony orchestra.