Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Classical Music - Sunday 23 November 9pm

This week Catherine Bott asks the question, 'Have jazz and classical music ever made for a winning combination?'

George Gershwin composer

This week's question was posed by a listener, Pearl Walter from London. 

And the answer is: yes. 

Catherine Bott proves her point with music by Scott Joplin, George Gershwin  (pictured), Shostakovich , Aaron Copland , Ravel , Leonard Bernstein and a fascinating Jazz Symphony from 1925 by George Antheil, the self-styled 'bad boy of music'.

Written in 1925, it was originally intended to be used in the band leader Paul Whiteman's Experiment in Modern Music concerts - which famously premiered George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. But it was deemed too radical. 

it was first played at Antheil's infamous 1927 Carnegie Hall Concert, by the Harlem Symphonietta conducted by W.C. Handy, and was complimented by the likes of Gershwin and Aaron Copland. 

Along with Rhapsody in Blue and Milhaud's La création du monde, it can be considered one of the first classical works with a successful and overt jazz influence. While Gershwin's work is more influenced by big band and swing, Antheil's can be seen as reinterpretations of the freeness of Creole and New Orleans music and cutting-edge New York jazz.

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