David Robertson Conductor
Nicolas Hodges Piano
Jolas Lassus ricercare
Jolas bTunes, for piano and orchestra
Bernstein Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
Copland Appalachian Spring Suite
Two towering American composers are featured in this brilliant program! Each drove some of the most memorable dance in American history: The Bernstein/Jerome Robbins partnership delivered West Side Story’s Broadway bravura and Copland’s American sound helped inspire his collaboration with the legendary choreographer Martha Graham.
From the edgy energy of the street dancing Sharks and Jets and the raw exhilarating shout in the school gym’s “Mambo” to the elegantly tender embrace of first-love teens, Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story captured the pulse of a generation as it transformed Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. All of the drama and pathos, the joy and sorrow of that story is captured in his Symphonic Dances.
Contrasting with Bernstein’s brash brilliance is Aaron Copland’s sublime Appalachian Spring Suite. With its serenely lovely opening that seems to summon the sunrise over the mountain and its profoundly beautiful setting of the Shaker hymn “Simple Gifts,” it’s a portrait of a time, a place, and a people.