The hedonism of American music and energy of the great musicals are concentrated in this irresistible series of arrangements, poised between the culture of pleasure and the tradition of excellence... There is nothing like music to help us forget the rain!
‘One foot in Tin Pan Alley and the other in Carnegie Hall!’ How better to sum up the alchemy of American music than with this Bernstein quote encapsulating the notion that there is nothing more serious—or more difficult—than the art of entertaining? And if the weather is bad, we make the trip in the rain, at the invitation of the indefatigable Arthur Freed. Under the patronage of the self-taught master Gershwin, with his irresistible suite from An American in Paris (with the famous I Got Rhythm, a lifestyle as much as an artistic manifesto), the vibrancy and choreographic spirit of Broadway are on full display in this programme. String quartet and piano are joined by the voluble clarinet to render Artie Shaw’s melodies, while hits from the timeless West Side Story recast their spell over us: against the backdrop of rivalry between communities, the star-crossed lovers meet on Broadway to celebrate—in all sorts of weather—the marriage of entertainment and serious art, of popular and classical.