Saturday, April 28, 2018

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Wynton Marsalis' "Swing Symphony"

This week, let's take a look at Wynton Marsalis' "Swing Symphony," which will be performed here in St. Louis by the composer, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra on Friday, May 4; Saturday, May 5; and Sunday, May 6 at Powell Hall. The performances will be conducted by David Robertson in his final weekend as music director of the SLSO.

The third symphonic work written by Marsalis, "Swing Symphony" was commissioned jointly by the New York Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and London’s Barbican Center and was premiered in June, 2010 by the Berlin Philharmonic. It received its US premiere in September 2010 in a performance by the New York Philharmonic in conjunction with Jazz at Lincoln Center that was televised live on PBS.

In the first video up above, you can see Marsalis talking about the process of composition for "Swing Symphony" in a brief interview recorded for the New York Philharmonic at the time of the US premiere in 2010.

After the jump, you can see a more extensive interview with the composer about the work, recorded a few months later by Jazz at Lincoln Center in March 2011, and divided into four parts.

The final two videos are performances of "Swing Symphony," the first recorded by Marsalis, the JaLCO, and the Ceska Philhamonic with Wayne Marshall conducting in July of last year in Prague, Czech Republic. The second was recorded earlier this month by the Frankfurt (Germany) Radio Symphony and Frankfurt Radio Big Band, with Andrés Orozco-Estrada conducting.

While both performances no doubt have some differences in interpretation and feel from what the audience at Powell Hall will hear next weekend, the two versions - one with the composer and his hand-picked band, the other an interpretation by musicians with no prior connection to the work - should provide some good opportunities for comparing and contrasting.

You can read some reviews of past performances of "Swing Symphony" on Wynton Marsalis' website, including those published by the Sydney Morning Herald and London's The Telegraph. Other noteworthy reviews include one by The New Republic in 2010; the Los Angeles Times in 2011; and London Jazz News in 2012;

You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...

No comments: