Program 83
"New York, New York"

MUSIC: clip from the main theme to Kander's New York, New York performed by the Boston Pops Orchestra conducted by John Williams [Philips 80002606-02, CD 2, track 2] [under the following]

Welcome to Compact Discoveries. I'm your guide, Fred Flaxman, and for the next hour we're going to explore music inspired by the city of New York. Stay with me and you'll hear the wonderfully orchestrated selections from the film score to the Woody Allen movie, Manhattan, with music by George Gershwin and a performance by the New York Philharmonic conducted by Zubin Mehta. Then you'll hear Gershwin's New York Rhapsody from the 1931 movie "Delicious." The third selection will be the music to Rodgers and Hart's song, Manhattan, with Skitch Henderson conducting the New York Pops. Following that we'll listen to New York-inspired music by American composers John Kander, Vernon Duke, and John Philip Sousa. We'll conclude the hour with a piano piece called New York Skyline by Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos.

MUSIC: fades out

This is the fourth in a series of Compact Discoveries hours that I am devoting to music inspired by cities. The first was Paris; then came London. The third was Rome. But this is the first American city to be included. And the music definitely reflects the jazz and blues idioms of our own culture.

We begin with what I think is my personal favorite film score of all times, the music from Woody Allen's film, Manhattan. The music is by George Gershwin, so you'll hear one gorgeous melody after another. The orchestration and adaptation is by Tom Pierson, and I think he did a masterful job of it, too. The performance is by the New York Philharmonic conducted by Zubin Mehta. The melodies include The Land of the Gay Caballero; Someone to Watch Over Me; I've Got a Crush on You; Do, Do, Do; Mine; He Loves and She Loves; Bronco Busters; Oh, Lady Be Good; S'Wonderful; Love is Here to Stay; Sweet and Low-Down; Blue, Blue, Blue; Embraceable You; Love is Sweeping the Country; Strike Up the Band; and But Not for Me.

MUSIC: Gershwin/Pierson: music from the Woody Allen film, Manhattan, performed by the New York Philharmonic conducted by Zubin Mehta [CBS MK 36020, tracks 2-18] [24:11]

Selections from the original soundtrack for the Woody Allen film, Manhattan. The New York Philharmonic was conducted by Zubin Mehta. The music was by George Gershwin as adapted and orchestrated by Tom Pierson. This was on an old CBS compact disc from an original analog recording.

You are listening to Compact Discoveries. I'm your guide, Fred Flaxman, and in this hour we are exploring music inspired by the city of New York, New York.

[two seconds of silence for an optional cutaway]

Let's stay with the music of New Yorker George Gershwin and listen to his New York Rhapsody. Never heard of it? Well, there's a reason for that and it has to do with title changes.

Gershwin composed this piece for a now forgotten 1931 movie called "Delicious." It starred Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell. The scripts was unusual in that, in addition to songs, it called for an extended orchestral sequence depicting New York City life.

For this Gershwin composed the New York Rhapsody, which was also known as Rhapsody of Rivets because of the opening motive which portrays riveters working on skyscrapers.

When the composer returned to the east coast, he decided to expand the piece into a full-scale composition for orchestra with solo piano. After a privately funded performance on June 26, 1931, the piece was premiered in Boston in January, 1932, as the Second Rhapsody, its final title.

In this performance the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra is conducted by William Hudson. The piano soloist is Santiago Rodriguez.

MUSIC: Gershwin: New York Rhapsody performed by the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, conducted by William Hudson, with Santiago Rodriguez, piano soloist [Élan CD 82268, track 5] [9:31]

George Gershwin's New York Rhapsody , written for the 1931 film "Delicious." It was performed by the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, conducted by William Hudson, with Santiago Rodriguez, the piano soloist.

I have been devoting this hour of Compact Discoveries to music related to New York, New York. Next on the list is the music from the Rodgers and Hart tune, Manhattan. It dates from 1925, when Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart first started writing songs together. This was created for a musical called "Garrick Gaieties." The success of Manhattan firmly established the team as major Broadway talent. One critic wrote: "We have not heard of Mr. Rodgers before. We have a suspicion we will hear of him again."

Here's the New York Pops conducted by Skitch Henderson.

MUSIC: Richard Rodgers' music for Manhattan, performed by the New York Pops, conducted by Skitch Henderson [Centaur CDC-2501, track 1] [1:38]

Richard Rodgers' music for Manhattan, performed by the New York Pops, conducted by Skitch Henderson.

You are listening to Compact Discoveries. I'm Fred Flaxman, and my theme for this hour is "New York, New York," music inspired by that great American city.

Next up, the title theme of this hour, New York, New York by John Kander, a tune made very famous by Frank Sinatra. Here it is as performed by John Williams conducting the Boston Pops Orchestra on a Philips compact disc.

MUSIC: Kander: New York, New York performed by the Boston Pops Orchestra conducted by John Williams [Philips 80002606-02, CD 2, track 2] [3:16]

John Kander's New York, New York performed by the Boston Pops Orchestra conducted by John Williams.

New York City is our theme for this hour of Compact Discoveries. Vernon Duke's contribution is called Autumn in New York. This is performed by Stéphane Grappelli and Yehudi Menuhin, both famous violinists. While Yehudi Menuhin's reputation was as a classical violinist, Grappelli was acclaimed the world over as a jazz musician. This Frenchman was one of the few Europeans in jazz to gain the respect usually reserved for great American musicians in this field, and he did it on an instrument which was not normally associated with jazz. The performance is from an Angel compact disc called "The Very Best of Grappelli and Menuhin."

MUSIC: Duke: Autumn in New York performed by Stéphane Grappelli and Yehudi Menuhin [Angel CDM 7243 5 66830 2 0, track 8] [4:19]

Autumn in New York by Vernon Duke. The performers were violinists Stéphane Grappelli and Yehudi Menuhin.

I think many of my listeners will have recognized every piece of music I've put on for them in this hour, up until now. But you are not likely to be familiar with the next two selections.

The first is a march by John Philip Sousa called The New York Hippodrome. It is from 1916. The final piece will be by Villa-Lobos, and I'll tell you about it before I play it.

The great Hippodrome Theater was the predecessor of today's Radio City Music Hall, and was located only a few blocks south of the current Radio City site. It was a frequent venue for the Sousa Band's New York performances, and for many years it also served as the location of the band's offices.

This Naxos compact disc recording of the New York Hippodrome march is by the Royal Artillery Band conducted by Keith Brion.

MUSIC: Sousa: New York Hippodrome performed by the Royal Artillery Band conducted by Keith Brion [Naxos 8.559092, track 4] [3:03]

John Philip Sousa's New York Hippodrome march, performed by the Royal Artillery Band conducted by Keith Brion.

All of the works we have heard so far in this hour devoted to music inspired by the City of New York, all of this music, without exception, was written by American composers. But we are going to conclude with a piece called New York Skyline that was written by a Brazilian composer: Heitor Villa-Lobos.

Villa-Lobos composed this piano piece by superimposing the New York skyline on a piece of graph paper. Even with the pitches following the heights of the buildings and the spaces determining the duration of the notes, the composer was able to compose this work in the form of a Brazilian serenade. So, although this piece, like the others in this hour, was inspired by New York City, it doesn't have an American sound. You are not likely to confuse this with the works of George Gershwin, Vernon Duke, John Kander, Richard Rodgers, or John Philip Sousa, all of which were presented earlier.

Considering how it was put together, I think this piece sounds much better than I would have predicted. The pianist is Beatriz Roman.

MUSIC: Villa-Lobos: New York Skyline performed by Beatriz Roman [Newport Classic NPD 85518, track 7] [3:08]

New York Skyline by Heitor Villa-Lobos performed by pianist Beatriz Roman.

MUSIC: clip from the main theme to Kander's New York, New York performed by the Boston Pops Orchestra conducted by John Williams [Philips 80002606-02, CD 2, track 2] [under the following]

That concludes this hour of Compact Discoveries devoted to music inspired by New York City, New York. My name is Fred Flaxman and I hope you enjoyed the music. I would love to hear your comments and suggestions. You can contact me through the Compact Discoveries website: www.compactdiscoveries.com.

On the website you'll find the script for this and all other Compact Discoveries programs. The scripts include information on every compact disc used in the programs. The website also lists the stations carrying this series, as well as comments from listeners and a separate section of Compact Discoveries articles. There is also information there about national underwriting of the programs. The web address again is www.compactdiscoveries.com.

Compact Discoveries is a registered trademark and production of Compact Discoveries, Inc. This program is made possible in part by the members of WXEL-FM, West Palm Beach, Florida.

MUSIC: up and fade out at 56:55

WFMT Announcer: This program is distributed by the WFMT Radio Network. [5 seconds]

Program Ends at 58:00

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