July 13, 2015 --
Marine Chamber Orchestra will continue its Summer Orchestra series with American
composer Aaron Copland’s beloved “Hoe Down” at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, July 18 at
the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center at Northern Virginia
Community College in Alexandria. Conducted by Assistant Director 1st
Lt. Ryan J. Nowlin, the concert will highlight works by composers who have had
a major impact on their country’s nationalism. In addition to Copland, the
program will include works by British composers Gustav Holst and Gerald Finzi
as well as Swiss-American composer Ernest Bloch.
concert will highlight one of Copland’s most recognized works—“Hoe Down” from Rodeo, a ballet which he created about
the American West. The recognizable music is definitive of Copland’s signature
upbeat tempos and optimistic harmonies.
has also programmed Copland’s Clarinet Concerto, featuring clarinetist Staff
Sgt. Christopher Grant. Commissioned by jazz legend Benny Goodman, known as the
King of Swing, the concerto combines elements of jazz with American folk music.
Grant said of the piece:
I have listened to the recording of Goodman performing the
Clarinet Concerto with Copland at the piano since I was a teenager; it's widely
regarded as the best interpretation of the work. Something that has always
influenced me from that particular recording is how eloquent and simple the
performance is. While much of the piece is rooted in jazz, too much freedom
with rhythms does Copland’s intentions a disservice. Although this concerto has
moments where there is a sense of improvisation to the listener, Copland in
fact notated very clearly what he intended from the performer.
The fact that the King of Swing commissioned the concerto
certainly plays heavily into the rhythmic intricacies as well. I love that
despite the lack of percussion or winds, the rhythmic nuances are still very
clear throughout the performance.
I love listening to and performing this work. It has always
been one of my favorite pieces for clarinet. The melodies of the first part of
the concerto are so beautiful and lyrical; it's very inspiring and emotional.
And the second part—with its Latin American and jazz inspired rhythms—is so fun
and engaging for both the performer and the audience.
performance will take place at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, July 18 at the Rachel M.
Schlesinger Concert Hall at Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria.
The concert is free, tickets are not required, and free parking is available in
the garage adjacent to the hall.
Program and notes