The 20th century saw dramatic innovations in all areas of human endeavor, from science and technology to arts and culture. As the lush romanticism of the
The 20th century saw dramatic innovations in all areas of human endeavor, from science and technology to arts and culture. As the lush romanticism of the nineteenth century made way for the jarring modernism of the early twentieth, composers and songwriters explored new forms and sounds, from avant-garde dissonance to the freewheeling improvisation of jazz, that pushed previous boundaries and broke established rules. With the development of gramophone records and radio broadcasts, access to music expanded exponentially, making all genres more accessible to people worldwide. This program features two European masters whose lives spanned the two centuries, progresses through several decades and countries to explore some of these transformations across the globe and the century. The Serenade for Strings by Edward Elgar, the epitome of late-Victorian English class and self-confidence, contrasts with the serenity and yearning of the Adagietto from Gustav Mahler’s 5th Symphony, written at the turn of the century, and famously conducted by Leonard Bernstein at Robert Kennedy’s 1968 funeral. We celebrate two prolific and inventive South American masters: Astor Piazzolla, the great Argentinian exponent of the Tango Nuevo genre or concert tangos; and Heitor Villa-Lobos, Brazil’s most celebrated composer, renowned for his ground-breaking fusion of Brazilian folk music with standard European musical forms and styles. We also spotlight Russian rebel Dmitri Shostakovich, who risked incurring the wrath of Joseph Stalin, with his subtly subversive mix of multiple modernist elements, from disquieting atonalism to decadent western jazz, yet survived the Soviet era by outwardly towing the party line. From the other side of the ideological divide, Aaron Copland’s Hoe-Down, from his 1942 ballet Rodeo, is the ultimate musical celebration of that American archetype, the cowboy. This eclectic survey of world music is representative of how musicians everywhere responded to the seismic cultural shifts of a century that irrevocably changed our world.
(Sunday) 2:00 pm
Windmill Library Performing Arts Center
7060 W Windmill Ln, Las Vegas, NV 89113
General Admission & Student Tickets