Com­ing up in Philly Music: Amer­i­can and Roman­ian rhap­sodies with VoxAmaDeus

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George Gershwin's music will be paired with Enescu in VoxAmaDeus's 'Four Rhapsodies.' (Image courtesy of VoxAmaDeus)
George Gershwin's music will be paired with Enescu in VoxAmaDeus's 'Four Rhapsodies.' (Image courtesy of VoxAmaDeus)

A George Gershwin concert feels like a good choice for a post-holiday, early January entertainment. Gershwin wrote likable music with just the right amount of depth. VoxAmaDeus has been presenting a Gershwin concert every season for the past few years. Its music director, Valentin Radu, has made Gershwin’s music one of his specialties.

This year the concert will have an international flair. Gershwin’s music will be coupled with two pieces by Romania’s George Enescu, a composer whose best-known works share characteristics with Gershwin’s orchestral music.

Enescu is considered Romania’s greatest composer. Pablo Casals compared him to Mozart and called him “one of the greatest geniuses in modern music.” He’ll be represented by two pieces that use Romanian folk music in the same way Gershwin drew on jazz and American popular music. They’re both labeled rhapsodies, like Gershwin’s most renowned creation. The Rhapsody in Blue will be the centerpiece of Gershwin’s half of the evening, but the program also includes his Second Rhapsody and his Cuban Overture. The Cuban Overture is dominated by Caribbean rhythms, with Cuban percussion and lots of color. The Second Rhapsody, sometimes called the Rhapsody in Rivets, is based on a movie score.

What, Where, When:

VoxAmaDeus will present “Four Rhapsodies, Gershwin and Enescu” on Friday, January 10, at 8pm at the Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 300 South Broad St., Philadelphia.

Tickets range from $25 to $80, with student tickets starting at $10. They’re available online, by calling (610) 688-2800, and at the door.

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