by Jewish-American Composers"
clip from the first movement of Morton Gould’s Latin-American
Symphonette performed by the Utah Symphony Orchestra conducted by
Maurice Abravanel [Vanguard Classics SVC-9, track 4] [under the
Welcome to Compact Discoveries. I’m your
guide, Fred Flaxman, and for the next hour we’re going to explore
a rather unusual but fun theme. That is “Latin-American Music...
by Jewish-American Composers.” But don’t worry. I’m
planning to do another hour on “Latin-American Music by
Latin-American Composers,” which should be a lot of fun as well.
on in this hour we’ll hear the Latin-American Symphonette by
Morton Gould, Aaron Copland’s El Salón México and
his Danzón Cubano, and Leonard Bernstein’s Danzón
from his ballet Fancy Free.
MUSIC: fades out
But let’s begin with an overture: George Gershwin’s Cuban Overture.
work was inspired by a short trip to Havana that Gershwin made in 1932.
While there he was captivated by Cuban music with its complex rhythms
and unusual percussion instruments. He returned to New York with a set
of Cuban sticks, a bongo, a gourd and maracas... and with a new idea
for a piece.
August 16 was to be Gershwin night at New
York’s Lewisohn Stadium, and Gershwin decided to work up his
Cuban themes into a piece for that concert. He called it Rumba at the
time, but when it was published he retitled it Cuban Overture so that
it wouldn’t be confused with the popular dance.
orchestral version of this piece is what is usually heard today. So in
the true spirit of Compact Discoveries, I’m going to play a
version you probably have never heard before. It was arranged for piano
duo by Gregory Stone and is performed on a CPO compact disc by Aglika
Genova and Liuben Dimitrov — two Bulgarian pianists of Greek
origin who have managed to win all of the most prestigious piono duo
MUSIC: Gershwin (arr. Stone): Cuban Overture, Piano Duo Genova & Dimitrov (CPO 777 039-2, track 4)
Gershwin’s Cuban Overture as arranged for duo pianists by Gregory
Stone. We heard the Piano Duo Genova and Dimitrov. This was from their
sixth compact disc. It’s called “America for Two.”
We’ll have another cut from that CD immediately following our
next piece, which is El Salón México by Aaron Copland.
This piece is also on the CPO disc, but this time we’re going to
listen to the original orchestral version. First a bit of background.
same year, 1932, that Gershwin went to Cuba and was inspired by Cuban
music, Copland went to Mexico, where he was similarly moved. He lived
there for two months in a small village where there were no tourists.
He began El Salón México
the following year. It was based
on popular Mexican themes. From the beginning, Copland wrote, he
associated these themes with a dance hall in Mexico City called El
Salón México. The dance bands there played a kind of
music that Copland found “harsh, flavorsome, screechy and
potentially violent.” He was fascinated. The first performance of
Copland’s piece took place in Mexico City on August 27, 1937,
with Carlos Chávez conducting. In the RCA Victor recording
we’re about to hear, Arthur Fiedler conducted the Boston Pops.
MUSIC: Copland: El Salón México, Arthur Fiedler conducts the Boston Pops [RCA Victor Gold Seal 6806-2-RG, track 7]
Copland’s El Salón México. Arthur Fiedler led the
Boston Pops Orchestra. You are listening to Compact Discoveries.
I’m your guide, Fred Flaxman, and this hour is devoted entirely
to “Latin-American Rhythms... by Jewish-American Composers.”
we had George Gershwin’s Cuban Overture. Then Aaron
Copland’s El Salón México. Next another piece by
Copland, also inspired by Cuban music following his visit there in
1941. It was written for two pianos and is called Danzón Cubano.
Here, once again, is the multiple prize-winning Piano Duo Genova and
MUSIC: Copland: Danzón Cubano performed by the Piano Duo Genova & Dimitrov [CPO 777 039-2, track 6]
Copland’s Danzón Cubano. The pianists were Aglika Genova
and Liuben Dimitrov. This was from their CPO album called
“America for Two.”
You are listening to
“Latin-American Rhythms by Jewish-American Composers” on
Compact Discoveries. I’m your guide, Fred Flaxman
[optional one-minute cutaway not included in the total timing of the program]
Danzón Cubano by Aaron Copland we go next to another
Danzón, this one written by a good friend of Copland’s
named Leonard Bernstein. It is from Bernstein’s ballet, Fancy
Free. Here, once again, is the Boston Pops Orchestra conducted by
Arthur Fiedler, from an RCA Victor BMG Classics recording.
Bernstein: Danzón from Fancy Free with the Boston Pops Orchestra
conducted by Arthur Fiedler [RCA Victor BMG Classics 6806-2-RG, track
Danzón from the ballet Fancy Free by Leonard Bernstein. Arthur Fiedler conducted the Boston Pops Orchestra.
have been devoting this hour of Compact Discoveries to
“Latin-American Rhythms by Jewish-American Composers.”
I’m going to devote another hour to “Latin-American Music
by Latin-American Composers,” which I assure you will be just as
much fun and even more surprising.
In this hour I have brought
you music by George Gershwin, Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein. I
have one-more Jewish-American composer of Latin-American music to bring
you now: Morton Gould. He wrote a piece called Latin American
Symphonette with four movements marked as follows: Rhumba, Tango,
Guaracha and Conga.
The Latin-American Symphonette was composed
in 1940 and first performed in 1941 in Brooklyn, New York. It was
broadcast nationally that year. In this Vanguard Classics compact disc
recording the Utah Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Maurice Abravanel.
Morton Gould: Latin-American Symphonette, Utah Symphony Orchestra
conducted by Maurice Abravanel (Vanguard Classics SVC-9, tracks 1-7)
Utah Symphony Orchestra was conducted by Maurice Abravanel in this
recording of the Latin-American Symphonette by Morton Gould.
have been listening to “Latin-American Rhythms by Jewish-American
Composers” on Compact Discoveries. I’m your guide, Fred
MUSIC: Copland: El Salón México performed
by the Piano Duo Genova & Dimitrov [CPO 777 039-2, track 7]] [under
More information on this series is available at
CompactDiscoveries.com. Your comments are always welcome there. So, for
that matter, are individuals, businesses and foundations who want to
keep programs like this on public radio nationwide.
Discoveries is a registered trademark and production of Compact
Discoveries, Inc. This program is made possible in part by the members
of WXEL-FM, West Palm Beach, Florida.
MUSIC: up and fade out at 56:55
WFMT Announcer: This program is distributed by the WFMT Radio Network. [5 seconds]
Program Ends at 57:00
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