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Sun, Mar 24


Musical Instrument Museum

Dead Elvis and Other Gems

MusicaNova principal bassoon Kristilyn Woods dons the sequined costume for Michael Daugherty's classical tour de force inspired by the King of Rock and Roll. Plus, a rare concerto for two clarinets

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Dead Elvis and Other Gems
Dead Elvis and Other Gems

Time & Location

Mar 24, 2024, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E Mayo Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85050, USA

About the event

Michael Daugherty: Dead Elvis

Peggy-Glanville Hicks: 3 Gymnopedies

Franz Krommer: Concerto for Two Clarinets and Orchestra

Joseph Haydn: Symphony no. 98

Read the full program notes here

Dead Elvis is scored for the same instrumentation as Stravinsky's  Histoire du Soldat (1918), in which a soldier sells his violin, and his  soul, to the devil for a magic book.  Michael Daugherty explains why: "I offer a new spin on this Faustian scenario: a rock star sells out to  Hollywood, Colonel Parker, and Las Vegas for wealth and fame. I use Dies  irae -- a medieval Latin chant for the Day of Judgment -- as the  principal musical theme in my composition to pose the question, is Elvis  dead or alive beyond the grave of Graceland?" 

The piece contrasts 1950s rock and roll ostinato in the double bass, violin, and  bongos against the bassoonist's variations of Dies irae.  "Elvis is part of American culture, history, and mythology for better or  for worse," Daughery writes. "If you want to understand America and all its riddles, sooner  or later you will have to deal with (Dead) Elvis."

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