I Hear a Rhapsody

August 7, 2019, 7:00 pm

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We’ve borrowed our title from the 1941 jazz standard, but what is a rhapsody? In music, Grove defines a rhapsody as “an episodic instrumental composition of indefinite form.” Rhapsodies came to be based on folk melodies, and composers in the 19th century began writing rhapsodies for chamber music and for symphonic orchestras. There are Hungarian Rhapsodies, Slavonic Rhapsodies, Blue Rhapsodies, Rhapsodies of Fire, and Bohemian Rhapsodies. Spend a week with us as Bill riffs on rhapsodies, and together we’ll explore what it is about this “indefinite form” that has attracted composers from around the world and across the centuries.

Playlist

Episode 1

Gustav Holst: A Somerset Rhapsody
Bournemouth Sinfonietta/Norman Del Mar
EMI Seraphim 73733; 9:40

Antonin Dvořák: Rhapsody in A Minor Op. 14
Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra/Libor Pešek
Naxos 8550610 ; 17:37

Johannes Brahms: Four Piano Pieces, Op. 119; Rhapsodie in E-flat Major, Op. 119, No. 4
Murray Perahia, piano
Sony 779469; 5:23

Bela Bartok: Rhapsody No. 1 for Violin and Piano
Joseph Szigeti, Béla Bartók
Vanguard 1583; 9:15

Franz Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6 In D Flat, S 244
Martha Argerich, piano
DG 437252; 6:26

Episode 2

Joaquín Turina: Rapsodia Sinfonica
Alicia de Larrocha; London Philharmonic Orchestra/Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos
Decca 410289; 18:04

Isaac Albéniz: Rapsodia Española
Orch. Cristobel Halffter/Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
Decca 410289; 9:07
Similar

Franz Liszt: Rhapsodie Espagnole, S 254
Stephen Hough, piano

Emmanuel Chabrier: España
Philharmonia Orchestra/Herbert Von Karajan
Virgin Classics 61129; 6:02

Episode 3

Ernö Dohnányi: Rhapsody in f sharp, Op 11, No 3
Balint Vazsonyi
5:57

Alexander MacKenzie: Scotch Rhapsody No. 2, Op. 24 – “I Coft A Stane O’ Haslock Woo”
Martyn Brabbins: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Helios 55395; 5:02

Alexander Mackenzie: Scotch Rhapsody No. 2, Op. 24 – “She’s Faire & Fause”
Martyn Brabbins: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Helios 55395; 5:27

Alan Hovhaness: Armenian Rhapsody No. 3, Op. 189
Alan Hovhaness: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Crystal 804; 5:43

Francis Poulenc: Rapsodie Nègre – 1. Prélude, 4. Pastorale
Anne Sofie Von Otter; Bengt Forsberg, piano
DG 447752; 2:14, 1:52

Ernest Bloch: Schelomo (Hebraic Rhapsody For Solo Cello & Large Orchestra)
Yo-Yo Ma; Miguel Harth-Bedoya: Chicago Symphony Orchestra
CSO Resound 901801; 22:44

Episode 4

Maurice Ravel: Rapsodie Espagnole
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Claudio Abbado
DG 457583; 15:53

Niccolò Paganini: Caprice No. 24 in A Minor: Tema con Variazioni
(Quasi Presto)

Michael Rabin; 4:41

Sergei Rachmaninov: Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini, Op. 43 – Introduction
Sergei Rachmaninov
RCA 61658

Georges Enescu: First Romanian Rhapsody
Leopold Stokowski
RCA 67903; 11:42

Niccolò Paganini: Caprice No. 24 in A Minor – Tema con Variazioni (Quasi Presto)
Michael Rabin
4:41

Episode 5

Claude Debussy: Première Rhapsodie: Rêveusement Lent
Franklin Cohen, Pierre Boulez & Cleveland Orchestra
DG 439896; 8:33

Ralph Vaughan Williams: Norfolk Rhapsody No. 1
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
Chandos 9775; 11:36

Franz Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsodies S. 244: No. 11 in A Minor
Gyorgy Cziffra
Warner Classics 27180; 5:10

George Gershwin: Rhapsody In Blue
Columbia Symphony Orchestra/Leonard Bernstein
CBS 37242; 16:31

Freddie Mercury: Bohemian Rhapsody
Queen
5:55

Dick Gasparre, George Fragos & Jack Baker: I Hear a Rhapsody
Bill Evans & Jim Hall
4:40