Thomas Pandolfi abandoned the printed program and delighted his audience with selections from Gershwin, Chopin and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Pandolfi's exhilarating performance would have made you want to pinch yourself to see if you were really still in Brookings - but the music was too compelling to engage in distractions.
George Cady introduced Thomas Pandofi, exhorted the Friends of Music members in the audience to vote in the board's contested election, and announced the Friends of Music's upcoming Crab Feed Fundraiser scheduled for January 21, 2017. Tickets for the fundraiser are now on sale at Wright's and Brian Scott Gallery.
Thomas Pandolfi related some of the history of Gershwin's compositions, mentioning that Ferde Grofe arranged and Paul Whiteman orchestrated Rhapsody in Blue for George Gershwin. It was an immediate grand success and influenced the careers of all three composers.
Rhapsody in Blue was such a huge success for Gershwin that he was commissioned to compose a full-scale piano concerto for the new York Symphony Orchestra (Concerto in F). When Gershwin approached Ravel to improve his orchestration talents, Ravel replied "Why be a second-rate Ravel when you are a first-rate Gershwin?"
Thomas Pandolfi performed both Rhapsody in Blue and Concerto in F to rousing applause. Concerto in F incorporated the pop style of the day - the rhythm of the Charleston. It opens with a discordant chord, and brings in syncopated jazz.
As an encore Pandolfi performed an arrangement he calls Phantom Phantasy - music from Phantom of the Opera. Yes, it was wonderful. You can't match the thrill of a live performance, but this is worth hearing, even online - here is the YouTube performance of Phantom Phantasy.
After the concert Pandolfi signed CDs for an appreciative audience.