Duigan plays Gershwin in PMB

2018-01-17 06:01
Christopher Duigan.PHOTO:Val Adamson

Christopher Duigan.PHOTO:Val Adamson

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CHRISTOPHER Duigan opens the year’s music revival programme of monthly concerts with a concise and fascinating overview of the piano music of George Gershwin (1898-1937).

Universally loved by audiences of classical, jazz and popular music, Gershwin holds a unique place as a true crossover composer. Duigan launches his programme in Pietermaritzburg this month.

Duigan will perform his Gershwin programme on January 26 at Casa Mexicana, 35 Montgomery Drive, Athlone. Tickets, including dinner from 6.30pm, are R200. Admission is R120 for the concert only which starts at 7.45pm. Secure parking is provided. The programme will be reprised on Sunday 28 July at 11.30am at Pietermaritzburg’s Tatham Art Gallery (tickets R80).

A gifted artist, Gershwin won world-wide fame for his music-making which spanned both popular and classical genres, generating an amazing spectrum of hits which have stayed the course of time. Among his best-known works are the orchestral compositions Rhapsody in Blue (1924) and An American in Paris (1928), and the opera Porgy and Bess (1935).

Gershwin began his career as a song plugger, but soon started composing Broadway theatre works with his brother Ira Gershwin and Buddy DeSylva.

He moved to Paris where he began to compose An American in Paris. After returning to New York City, he wrote Porgy and Bess with Ira and the author DuBose Heyward.

Initially a commercial failure, Porgy and Bess is now considered one of the most important American operas of the 20th century. Gershwin moved to Hollywood and composed numerous film scores until his death in 1937 from a brain tumour.

Gershwin’s compositions have been adapted for use in many films and for television, and several became jazz standards recorded in many variations. Many celebrated singers and musicians have performed his songs.

Celebrating Gershwin’s contribution to the “classical” piano repertoire Duigan plays the Three Preludes, the iconic Rhapsody in Blue and the Gershwin Songbook.

This virtuoso selection of 19 compact and delightful improvisations by Gershwin of his own popular songs, provides a whirlwind pianistic tour-de-force through the songs of the composer.

Included are Fascinating Rhythm, The Man I Love, S’Wonderful and I Got Rhythm. Duigan completes the programme with ragtime music by Scott Joplin and novelty solos Dizzy Fingers (Zez Confrey) and Nola (Felix Arndt).

For bookings at Music Revival email booking@musicrevival.co.za or phone 083 417 4473 (SMS or WhatsApp preferred), or visit www.musicrevival.co.za

- Supplied.

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