Clyne: This Midnight Hour
Barber: First Essay for Orchestra Op. 12
Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue Paul Feehan: Piano
Beach: Symphony in E minor ‘Gaelic’ Op. 32
All of the works in this concert were composed in the USA. Clyne’s This Midnight Hour is based on poems depicting the power of music. Barber’s Essay, composed just after his famous Adagio for Strings, explores a haunting theme from multiple perspectives. Barber always distanced himself from music about ‘skyscrapers’, but Gershwin’s jazz-influenced Rhapsody in Blue for piano and orchestra was infused (he said) with the sound of ‘our metropolitan madness’. Beach’s Symphony in E minor, turned to a different aspect of the US melting pot, drawing on the Irish folk songs she heard in her native Boston to telling effect.