After returning from another mailing-list vacation, LOG this time, like SPAH but a different list. I'm still slowly catching up on my mail. I barely made it to the Digest where Steve Levine announced Larry Adler's appearance with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. So, as a duty to my instrument I got tickets for myself and a Baltimore friend for the last performance.
When I ordered I asked for the cheap seats... and boy did I get it... Second to last row. But to be fair the view was quite good.
The show was a tribute to George Girshwin and was conducted by Marvin Hamlish. Larry Adler was the soloist. It was a neat show, pretty informal as classical shows go. They had an actor playing Girshwin and he told the audience about George's life.
Hamlish and the BSO started with a Medley of Girshwin tunes used by Hollywood. They proceeded onto Swanee, the Piano Concerto in F Major, and An American in Paris.
After the Intermission, they started up with Lullaby for Strings. And then Larry Adler was introduced. He played 'Summertime' solo while accompanying himself on piano. Between songs Hamlish and Adler talked quite a bit. Actually Hamlish was Larry Adler's straight man. Larry accompanied the orchestra for one of Girshwin's Preludes - "the Middle One"(?).
"Rhapsody in Blue" was an interesting performance. They'd digitized a George Girshwin recording into a player piano solo. So in essance, Larry Adler was accompanied by George Girshwin himself. The piano was an upright with the front off so the audience could see the hammers on the strings. It was kinda ghostly.
At this point they deviated entirely from the program and Marvin Hamlish invited Jerry Adler from the audience. The Adler Brothers did a duet of 'The Man I Love'. Apparently, Jerry showed up for one of the earlier performances. He was called up on stage to play with his brother. Afterward, Mr. Hamlish decided Jerry just had to stay for the rest of the run.
After the orchestra completed Selections from Porgy and Bess. Hamlish called Baltimore Native Son, Larry Adler back to the stage for an encore of 'Someone to Watch Over Me'.
It was a great afternoon performance, I'm glad I went. It was my first time seeing Both Adlers. I was very impressed. Also, confirming my suspicions of the cliquish nature of Harp players, reguardless of genre, there was a familiar face in the audience that night, Mark Wenner of the Nighthawks.