Concerts

               In addition to his presentations, Orin Grossman is available for innovative concerts that                     bridge the worlds of classical and popular music.


Concert #1:

The Music of George Gershwin

Almost unique among American composers, George Gershwin moved comfortably and happily between the concert world and the worlds of Broadway and Hollywood. This concert brings his popular songs and concert pieces together to bring out the full brilliance of his accomplishment.


Three Preludes

Songs from the Gershwin Song Book (Gershwin’s own arrangements)

Rhapsody in Blue (Piano Solo version)

 

------------------Intermission-------------------

 

Two Waltzes from “Pardon My English”

 

Three Song Transcriptions from Gershwin’s piano recordings

             Looking for a Boy

             So Am I

             Someone to Watch Over Me

 

Suite from Porgy in Bess                                                                                           (arr. Earl Wild)

 

Concert #2:

Music from the Americas—featuring popular and classical music

from The United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean

There has long been interplay between the music of Mexico, Cuba and the Caribbean, with its strong Spanish and African influence, and the music of the United States. This concert highlights these connections with popular music from the United States, Mexico, Cuba, and Brazil.

 

Two Rags, a Waltz, and a Tango                                                                                   Scott Joplin

            Maple Leaf Rag

            Pleasant Moments, A Ragtime Waltz

            Solace, A Mexican Serenade

            Pine Apple Rag

 

Two Novelty Piano Selections                                                                                      Zez Confrey

            Kitten on the Keys

            Nickel in the Slot

 

Two Tangos                                                                                                         Ernesto Nazareth                      

           Odeon

           Perigoso

 

El Salon Mexico                                                               Aaron Copland (arr. Leonard Bernstein)

    

               ------------------Intermission----------------------

 

Six Afro-Cuban Dances                                                                                       Ernesto Lecuona

 

Suite from Porgy and Bess                                                        George Gershwin (arr. Earl Wild)

 


Concert #3:

The March, the Waltz, and the French Connection: Popular Music from Europe and the United States

The piano became the dominant home instrument on both sides of the Atlantic early in the 19th century and remained the stalwart center of musical life until radio, recorded music and electronic keyboards ended its dominance. Pianists desired music based on the popular styles of the day, including simple arrangements as well as more complex versions for gifted amateurs and professionals. In Europe, two main sources of popular music were the march and the waltz. In the United States, marches were turned into ragtime and the waltz was re-defined as an American genre. This concert highlights music based on the popular music of Europe and the United States, including Gershwin songs in his own piano arrangements.

          


Three March-Rags                                                                                                    Scott Joplin

Wedding March                                                                                                       Edvard Grieg

 

Three waltzes

            Pleasant Moments, A Ragtime Waltz                                                           Scott Joplin

            Anticipation                                                                                                Zez Confrey

            Waltz Opus 64#2                                                                                   Frederic Chopin

 

Noble and Sentimental Waltzes                                                                           Maurice Ravel

 

       ----------------Intermission----------------

 

Two Waltzes from “Pardon My English                                                           George Gershwin

 

The Gershwin Song Book                                      (Gershwin’s own arrangements of his songs)

 

Three Transcriptions                                                       From recordings by George Gershwin

            Looking for a Boy

            So Am I

            Someone to Watch Over Me

 

Concert #4:

The Romantic Piano: From Chopin to Gershwin

 

Frederic Chopin, along with his contemporary Franz Liszt, is the originator of modern piano technique and one of the greatest composers for the instrument. Almost all of his music is for the piano, and his reputation suffered for years because of the lack of symphonies and other large-scale works for orchestra. However, he is now considered one of the most important Romantic composers, weaving beautiful melodies with haunting and innovative harmonies.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Isaac Albeniz, one of Franz Liszt’s last pupils, composed a series of twelve remarkable pieces for the piano, collectively titled Iberia. Albeniz succeeded in bringing together the virtuoso pianism of his teacher, the wonderful harmonies and colors of the French Impressionists Debussy and Ravel, and most importantly the rhythms and folk-melodies of his native Spain. Although Albeniz worried that he had written unplayable music that made impossible technical demands, these pieces are now considered landmarks in piano composition.

Earl Wild was, to my mind, the greatest Gershwin interpreter of the 20th century, rivaled only by the composer himself. His arrangement of eight of the most famous and beautiful selections from Porgy and Bess is a remarkable transcription capturing the sweep and Romantic beauty of this astonishing opera.

 

Three selections from Iberia                                                                                 Isaac Albeniz

               Book II, Rondena

               Almeria

               Triana

 

Ballade #3                                                                                                          Frederic Chopin

 

                        --------------Intermission---------------

 

Ballade #1                                                                                                          Frederic Chopin

 

Suite from Porgy and Bess                                                     George Gershwin (arr. Earl Wild)