Reuniting with British pianist Tom Poster, we explore early 20th-century expressions of modernity, pairing iconic works by Gershwin, Bartók and Prokofiev with Mozart’s radiant F-major Piano Concerto.
Written in the bleak aftermath of World War I, Bartók’s pantomime ballet The Miraculous Mandarin depicts the dark underbelly of modern urban life, provocatively stirring up a scandal when it premiered. In contrast, across the Atlantic Gershwin shines a different light on urban modernity with Rhapsody in Blue, a piano concerto that grooves to the rhythms and sounds of the 1920s Jazz Age.
Complementing these two works, Prokofiev’s ‘Classical’ Symphony twists and turns with charm and delight in Haydnesque style, innovatively merging classical forms with modern harmonies. This neoclassical gem is paired with Mozart’s lively F-major Piano Concerto performed by regular Aurora collaborator Tom Poster, known for his warm sound and thoughtful lyricism.
‘I heard it as a sort of musical kaleidoscope of America, of our vast melting pot, of our unduplicated national pep, of our metropolitan madness.’ George Gershwin on Rhapsody in Blue
Tom Poster, Bus Stop B at Alexandra Palace
(from Living Music, photography by Jim Hinson, Stanton Media)
Related Events at Kings Place
Pre-concert talk: Aurora Principal Players reflect on 15 years of Aurora
6pm – Free, but ticketed (advance booking strongly recommended)
The Lock-In: Folk Roots
9.15pm – An atmospheric late-night concert of chamber works sparked by European folk music
Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 19 is generously supported by Andrew Blankfield & Bernadette Hillman and Nicholas & Emma Hardie.
Mozart’s Piano is generously supported by:
The Parabola Foundation (principal supporter)
An Anonymous Donor
Nicholas & Margo Snowman
Aurora Orchestra’s Concerto Patrons & Friends
Aurora gratefully acknowledges the additional support of Bärenreiter and Green & Fortune for the Mozart’s Piano series.