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George Antheil

April 21, 2010

Pretty is good, gritty is better

In 1924, American composer George Antheil was experimenting with jazz styles. He liked Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," but thought it was too pretty. So he began writing his own answer to Gershwin and the new world of jazz. The grittier, not-as-pretty result, Antheil's "Jazz Symphony," is in today's show. We'll hear a performance by the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.

Today's Playlist

Performance Today audio is available for seven days following broadcast.

hour 1

  • Blind Tom Wiggins
    The Rainstorm
    John Davis, piano
  • Maurice Ravel
    Piano Concerto No. 1 in G
    Martha Argerich, piano, the Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra, Tugan Sokhiev, conductor
    Konzerthaus, Freiburg, Germany
  • George Antheil
    A Jazz Symphony
    The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Heinz Karl Gruber, conductor
    Gewandhaus, Leipzig, Germany
  • The Piano Puzzler
    This week's contestant is Doug Griggs from Georgetown, Kentucky
  • Claude Debussy
    Alison Balsom, trumpet
    Weimarhalle, Weimar, Germany
  • Ludwig van Beethoven
    Thomas Bloch, glass harmonica
    Coves del Salnitre, Montserrat, Spain
  • Carl Orff
    Veni Creator Spiritus
    The Munich Academy of Music Madrigal Choir

hour 2

  • Erno Dohnanyi
    Romanza from Serenade in C, Op. 10
    The English Sinfonia with conductor John Farrer
  • Stephen Hough
    "Musical Jewelry Box"
    Pianist Stephen Hough
    Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center, St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Antoine Busnois
    "Fortuna desperata zu vier Stimmen"
    Musica Antiqua of London with lutenist Jacob Heringman
    Tage Alter Musik Festival in Herne, Germany
  • Anonymous
    "Zorzi" and "Giorgio", Two Saltarelli
    Musica Antiqua of London with lutenist Jacob Heringman
    Tage Alter Musik Festival in Herne, Germany
  • Johannes Brahms
    Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98
    The Philharmonia Orchestra with conductor Christoph von Dohnanyi
    Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall, London
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