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Conductor Andrew Gourlay and clarinettist Julian Bliss on the Benny Goodman centenary

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Alyn Shipton Alyn Shipton | 11:32 UK Time, Monday, 16 November 2009

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On Sunday 15th November, at the Radio Theatre in Broadcasting House, I was working with conductor Andrew Gourlay and clarinettist Julian Bliss on one of the more unusual concerts in the London Jazz Festival. This year is the Benny Goodman centenary, and to mark the occasion, we took a look at two of the classical concerti associated with Benny. Around the mid-1940s, Benny took an increasing interest in developing his classical technique and he commissioned a chamber work from Bela Bartok and a concerto from Paul Hindemith. But we looked at arguably the most famous of Benny's commissions from the '40s, namely the Aaron Copland clarinet concerto, and also the much later Malcolm Arnold Concerto no 2, written in 1974. With the students of Trinity College of Music Chamber Orchestra we took the two concerti apart, looking for links between Benny's classical works and his jazz playing. You'll be able to hear the results on 13 December at 5pm, on Radio 3, but as a foretaste, here's a brief chat I had with Julian and Andrew about this concert.

Listen to our conversation.

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