Boulder Symphony Orchestra Gears Up For Season-opening Concert, ‘deaf Man’s Dysfunctional Dance’
Concert preview: ‘Golden Age of Jazz’ explores vocal styling of true virtuosos
When the lights came up she was on a platform elevated by scissor-jacks and haloed by a blue light show that looked like it might have originated on the surface of a blue, giant star. Before this spectacular backdrop she sang I am Your Angel. Actually, most of the numbers had some sort of outer space visuals. During another, the light shone out over the audience, projecting a super nova of sorts. But can the lady sing? Indeed she can. I doubt whether she has the chops to succeed in a real opera, but she did a pop-ish version of the Song to the Moon from DvoAkas Rusalka and it was lovely. She also sang Nessum Dorma from Puccinias opera Turandot. The arrangement was okay, and she sang it more than adequately, but this is one aria that only really works with a tenor. Another hint of the classical was a song based on the Allegretto from Beethovenas Seventh Symphony. Now for a disclosure: Although I kind of recognized most of the tunes, there were only a handful to which I could put a name. One of those was Drinking in the Morning (at least I think thatas what it was called), a fine song, beautifully delivered.
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Wagner’s own Prelude to “Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg” is also featured. The concert closes with a new work, “Balance and Swing,” by Denver composer Loretta Notareschi. The piece is inspired by American dance, Hughes said. The season continues Oct. 26 with a pops concert, which will have a Halloween theme and include works such as Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bare Mountain” and the “Danse Macabre” by Saint-Saens. The concert is in collaboration with the Longmont Youth Symphony. The third concert, on Dec. 7, includes Mahler’s Fourth, as well as the composer’s “Songs of a Wayfarer.” It is the orchestra’s first performance of a Mahler symphony, and Hughes is excited about that. Another world premiere by the orchestra’s composer-in-residence, Austin Wintory, completes the evening. Hughes said it would be a song for soprano and orchestra, mirroring the song finale of the Mahler Fourth. Soprano Teresa Castillo performs in the symphony and the Wintory work, while baritone Thomas Kittle takes on the “Wayfarer” songs. On Feb. 15, 11-year-old violin prodigy Phoenix Avalon returns to play with the orchestra.
MDT Updated: yesterday View 2 photos Summary Popular local soloist Ginger Bess will stage The Golden Era of Jazz as part of the Grand Theatres Backstage at the Grand concert series Sept. 19-21. Singers like Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra have left an indelible mark on American popular music through their vocal stylings. Fusing a conversational delivery with rhythmic and melodic improvisation, the uniquely American vocal style of jazz was developed. Popular local soloist Ginger Bess will stage The Golden Era of Jazz as part of the Grand Theatres Backstage at the Grand concert series Sept. 19-21. These famous jazz vocalists had such great control of their voices but also an understanding of the importance and ability to interpret what they were singing, and this set them apart as the best of that era, says Bess. Singers nowadays can sing songs, entertain an audience and get on the radio. But do they really understand the words and the stories that are being told? The famous jazz singers really knew how to bring out the blues in a song or bring out the happiness in a song. The ability to articulate music expressively and have a musical pizzazz to swing to the rhythms effectively made the standout vocalists true virtuosos of the genre in the 1940s and 50s. Often considered the foremost female singer in jazz history, Billie Holiday approached performing music from a radical angle, explaining, in her own words, I dont feel like Im singing, I feel like Im playing the horn. Her genius lay with impeccable timing, nuanced phrasing and emotional immediacy, qualities that were admired by her followers and made her arguably more influential than that of any other jazz singer.