'In the company of Benny Goodman - The King of Swing'
Music on Mondays faculty artist series
May 20, 2021
Monday, Sept. 20, 2021 at 8 p.m., Squires Recital Salon
Free; no reservation required
Clarinetist Yevgeny Dokshansky and pianist Hsiang Tu, both faculty members of the School of Performing Arts, will return to the "Music on Mondays" series with a duo recital featuring the works of Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), Francis Poulenc (1899-1963), and Paquito D’Rivera (1948-) that have a connection to one of the most well-known clarinetists of the 20th century — Benny Goodman, AKA 'The King of Swing.'
Goodman, the son of Jewish immigrants, fell in love with the clarinet at an early age, and received his early classical music training in Chicago. Even though Goodman eventually made his name in the jazz world, he never lost his connection to the classical repertoire he was trained in, appearing regularly as a soloist and chamber musician in the works of Brahms, Bartok, Copland, and Weber.
Composer Francis Poulenc, whom Goodman commissioned the new Sonata for clarinet and piano, passed away suddenly several months before the scheduled premiere at Carnegie Hall in 1963. The premiere was intended to be with the composer at the piano; Leonard Bernstein stepped in as a replacement.
Cuban-American composer Paquito D’Rivera, who was highly influenced by Goodman, received a commission in 2008 to create a new work for clarinet and piano. The composer came up with a composition in four movements and called it "Cape Cod Files" (2009). The first movement is titled "Benny @ 100," which demonstrates the distinct character and style of Goodman, while the rest of the movements have echoes of Goodman’s signature flavors.
The much-beloved and revered Sonata No. 1 in F minor by Johannes Brahms, which concludes the recital, was the final composition Goodman practiced on the day he died in 1986.
We are grateful to Main Street Inn, the Hotel Sponsor for the Music on Mondays and Visiting Artist Series in the School of Performing Arts at Virginia Tech.