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美国万象:绿野仙踪、乔治·格什温和Lila Downs

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迅雷专用高速下载 HOST:Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC in VOA Special English. (MUSIC)I'm Doug Johnson. This week o
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HOST:

Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC in VOA Special English.

(MUSIC)

I'm Doug Johnson. This week on our show:

Music from Mexican American singer Lila Downs ...

A question about "Rhapsody in Blue" by composer George Gershwin …

But first we're off to see the Indiana Wizard of Oz Festival.

Indiana Wizard of Oz Festival

(MUSIC)

HOST:

For twenty-seven years, visitors to the Indiana Wizard of Oz Festival in Valparaiso have gathered to celebrate ruby slippers, rainbows, and yellow brick roads. This yearly event honors all things linked to the movie "The Wizard of Oz,"(绿野仙踪) which came out in nineteen thirty-nine. Faith Lapidus tells us more.

FAITH LAPIDUS:

Last weekend, thousands of visitors gathered at the Porter County Expo Center for the Indiana Wizard of Oz Festival. Even heavy rains did not stop visitors from enjoying the festival's many events. The great-great-grandson of L. Frank Baum who wrote the book "The Wizard of Oz" opened the festival activities. Robert Baum attended the festival to meet people and sign visitors' books and objects.

Visitors could shop at the Munchkin Market to buy objects related to all things Oz. Or, they could meet actors who played Munchkins in the movie. There were even contests to see who could look the most like characters in "The Wizard of Oz." There were people dressed like Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion and the Wicked Witch of the West. Visitors could also see a private collection of clothing and jewelry once owned by Judy Garland, the actress who played Dorothy.

(MUSIC)

Jean Nelson started the Indiana Wizard of Oz Festival in nineteen eighty-one. At the time, she owned the Yellow Brick Road Gift Shop and also opened the Oz Fantasy Museum. She decided to organize a Wizard of Oz day as a way to have a fun community activity. The event slowly grew over the years and is now the largest Oz festival in the world.

Miz Nelson says that the story of "The Wizard of Oz" remains popular for several reasons. She says it is an American story, unlike many fairy tales that came from Europe. She says the movie also celebrates values that families can enjoy together.

One of the main events of the festival this year was a performance by Danny Windsor. The eighty-three year old actor had a small role as a frightening winged monkey in "The Wizard of Oz." Later in his career, he met Judy Garland when they were performing in the same theater in New York City. Mister Windsor says that people will be watching "The Wizard of Oz" one hundred years from now. He says the movie celebrates art and life and is full of heart from beginning to end.

(MUSIC)

"Rhapsody in Blue"

HOST:

Our listener question this week comes from Brazil. Sergio Augusto Ramos dos Santos wants to know about the famous musical piece called "Rhapsody in Blue" by George Gershwin.

乔治·格什温 (George Gershwin,1898-1937),美国著名作曲家。

乔治·格什温1898年9月26日生于纽约市布鲁克林(Brooklyn)一个贫苦俄国移民家庭。14岁时曾师从汉比策(C. Hambitzer)弹奏钢琴,表现出极高的天份。1914年高中辍学,进入纽约出版商雷米克(Remick)的公司,担任广告钢琴手。两年后辞职,开始创作。1916-1920年间主要从事歌曲创作,这些早期的歌曲以通俗易唱和富于旋律性而流传甚广,其中《斯瓦尼》(Swanee)使他一举成名。此后又创作了不少舞台音乐剧。1924年发表交响曲《蓝色狂想曲》,获得巨大成功,使他成为世界级作曲家,克莱斯勒、艾尔曼、拉赫玛尼诺夫、斯特拉文斯基等当代音乐家参加了首演。1925年,纽约爱乐乐团开始委托他作曲,由于未接受过正统的音乐教育,此时他花费了很大的精力学习作曲理论,并得到了杜克(Vernon Duke)、列万特(Oscar Levant)和勋伯格等作曲家的帮助。1928年赴巴黎休养,创作了管弦乐曲《一个美国人在巴黎》。30年代起开始涉足电影音乐,为好莱坞电影作曲。1932年的《为君而歌》(of thee I sing)获普利策奖。1935年完成影响巨大的黑人歌剧《波吉和贝丝》(Porgy and Bess)。1937年7月11日,格什温逝世于好莱坞。格什温在美国音乐史上占有重要地位。美国音乐长期为欧洲主流音乐影响,20世纪初才有明确表现美国国民性格的音乐出现,先驱者便是格什温。他将美国大陆流行的通俗爵士乐运用在传统音乐中,综合了欧洲音乐艺术、爵士乐、黑人歌曲等各种形式,创造出交响爵士乐,成为美国的音乐一种特色。这方面的代表作《蓝色狂想曲》,被认为是“容许爵士乐从酒吧间门里探出头来”的第一个成功的尝试。他的舞台剧与电影歌曲,也成为后来爵士乐或歌曲创作所仿效的标准。为了纪念这位作曲家,纽约爱乐乐团每年都要举行格什温作品专题音乐会。1945年,华纳公司以他的音乐和生平为基础,拍摄了电影《蓝色狂想曲》。

格什温的哥哥艾拉·格什温(Ira Gershwin)是一位知名的百老汇歌词作家。

Gershwin wrote the piece for jazz band leader Paul Whiteman. "Rhapsody in Blue" was first performed in nineteen twenty-four at a concert hall in New York City. The name of the series of songs played that night was "Experiment in Modern Music." Gershwin's song was twenty-third in the list of songs in that performance.

The twenty-five year old composer had already enjoyed success in his career writing popular music. But this concert brought him recognition as a classical composer as well.

(MUSIC)

George Gershwin said that the influence for the music came when he was on a train and began listening to its many noises and rhythms. He said that he suddenly heard the complete structure from beginning to end of what would become "Rhapsody in Blue." He explained that the song was about the "melting pot" of different immigrants in America, its national energy and the madness of its cities.

The song was first written for a piano player and jazz band, including reed, bass, rhythm and string instruments. A nineteen forty-two version of the song has a different combination of musical instruments.

George Gershwin continued to write exciting compositions that would help define modern American music. These include "An American in Paris" and the opera "Porgy and Bess." He worked with his brother Ira Gershwin on many musical projects. George Gershwin died of a brain tumor at the age of thirty-eight.

(MUSIC)

"Rhapsody in Blue" has become one the most famous American songs in modern history. Since the nineteen eighties, it has been used in advertisements for United Airlines. The music has also been used in many movies, including Woody Allen's "Manhattan" and Disney's "Fantasia Two Thousand." In these movies, "Rhapsody in Blue" expresses the energy and beauty of New York City.

(MUSIC)

Lila Downs 歌手介绍

 出自一个艺术家庭,父亲是苏格兰裔美籍电影摄影师,母亲是墨西哥印地安原住民歌手, Lila Downs(里拉当斯)生于墨西哥,小时候随父亲居住于洛杉矶。
    14岁学声乐,后回墨西哥一段时间,再回明尼苏达大学修习声乐与人类学,其间曾经过了一段嘻皮式的颓废生活。毕业后回墨西哥结识了萨克斯风手的丈夫,一直从事于演唱事业。她的音乐根植于墨西哥的mariachi,ranchero, bolero,但融合了美国民谣,爵士, 甚至于rap,音域宽广,收放自如,曲风也变化多端。这张专辑以第八首的"La Linea" (border -国境边界)为名,是有感于墨西哥在美移民的辛酸而作,希望无国界的音乐能有助于拆卸人类之间的有形人为藩篱。

    她在电影《Frida》(挥洒烈爱)中饰演一歌手,剧中演唱了四首曲子。该电影分别获得2003年奥斯卡与金球奖的最佳原创音乐奖。

HOST:

The Mexican-American singer Lila Downs recently released her latest album "Shake Away." She is probably best known for her song "Burn it Blue." She made it for the movie "Frida" about the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo in two thousand two. On her new record Lila Downs sings in many different styles, both in English as well as Spanish. Critics say this is her most creative album yet. Barbara Klein tells us more.

(MUSIC)

BARBARA KLEIN:

That was the song "Minimum Wage." It expresses the difficult situation of many Mexican immigrants who cross the border into the United States to try to find work. Lila Downs has her own personal link to this border. She was born in Oaxaca, Mexico to a Mexican mother and an American father. She first began performing as a child in Mexico. Later, she studied music in college in the United States.

Lila Downs used to perform wearing clothing and hairstyles influenced by Frida Kahlo. For this album she decided to change her look with new versions of traditional Mexican clothing. She says she enjoys reinventing herself with her art.

Here is the song "Perro Negro." 

(MUSIC)

Downs wrote many of the songs on "Shake Away." But others were written by other musicians. We leave you with Lila Downs' inventive version of Carlos Santana's song "Black Magic Woman." She performs the song with Raul Midon.

(MUSIC)

HOST:

I'm Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program today.

It was written and produced by Dana Demange. To read and listen to our programs online, go to 51voa.com.

Join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC, VOA's radio magazine in Special English.

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