Los Angeles Music Feature: MAX RAABE & PALAST ORCHESTER (Walt Disney Concert Hall)

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by Tony Frankel on April 5, 2013

in Theater-Los Angeles

MAX RAABE & PALAST ORCHESTER MAKE VENUE DEBUT AT WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL

The public’s fondness for songs has an extensive and nearly unbroken history, and one of the acmes of this history took place in America from the 1910s into the 1950s. During this time, songsmiths created ditties that were so well constructed in melody, so sympathetic and amenable in word construction that they stand as unique triumphs in our nation’s creative story. The nineteenth century music of Civil War parlor songs, minstrel shows, and Stephen Foster folk tunes paved the way for more personal lyrics. Ragtime and John Philip Sousa’s instrumental extravaganzas pushed rhythm to the fore of musical structure. By the years of the late teens and early 20s, the presence of a new kind of articulation in lyrics, and a new role for rhythm in the texture of song composition, found its way into the works of writers such as Irving Berlin and Duke Ellington.

Tony Frankel’s Stage and Cinema LA feature of Max Raabe & Palast Orchester at Walt Disney Concert HallIn the mid-1920s, Americans were going through a revolutionary decade in technological communications: Radio, broadcast microphones, enhanced recording techniques, and sound on film – to name a few – thrust American Popular Song into the clutches of an insatiable public. It was around this time that singers (The Rhythm Boys’ Al Rinker and Bing Crosby, Al Jolson, etc.) became as important as the songs. At the same time, composers like Cole Porter and Gershwin were enjoying successes on Broadway, and well into the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, musical theater would spawn a majority of popular music.

Tony Frankel’s Stage and Cinema LA feature of Max Raabe & Palast Orchester at Walt Disney Concert HallOne could scrutinize the reasons that an apotheosis of songwriting appeared early in the century, but there was something magical floating through the air that surrounded the world of popular music, not just in America but in Europe as well. Baby Boomers have enjoyed a glimpse of this era via electronica, but rare is the opportunity to soak up classics from the Great American Songbook live, delivered by someone who retains the wit, debonair charm, refinement, humor, and sophistication of those long gone singers and songwriters. This is why a visit to see the charismatic baritone Max Raabe and his orchestra, who make their Walt Disney Concert Hall debut on April 10, is a no-brainer. Max Raabe & Palast Orchester, as the world-famous group is known, embodies the high style and musical glory of the ‘20s and ‘30s and they will be performing songs from and in the style of that remarkable time.

Tony Frankel’s Stage and Cinema LA feature of Max Raabe & Palast Orchester at Walt Disney Concert HallAlways elegant and smart in appearance, Raabe and his orchestra unveil their brand new program I Won’t Dance, which includes original arrangements of hits, dance hall songs, and chansons, alongside new songs penned by Raabe himself. The program will also include popular German songs; the original dance-band arrangement of Kurt Weill’s “Mack the Knife”; traditional arrangements of songs by the Comedian Harmonists; popular songs from Cole Porter and Irving Berlin; and the band’s signature mix of Cuban rumbas, happy foxtrots, and stylish tangos.

A singer of incredible range, Raabe has the ability to capture the cunning rasp of the cabaret singer, the confidence of the bel canto hero, the oily melodiousness of the revue beau, the carefree timbre of early jazz, as well as the falsetto of ragtime, all Tony Frankel’s Stage and Cinema LA feature of Max Raabe & Palast Orchester at Walt Disney Concert Hallbacked by his stellar 12-member band, many of whom have been with him since the orchestra’s formation in the mid-80s.

So if your “Merry-Go-Round Broke Down,” say “Toot, Toot Tootsie (Goo’bye)” to your “Downhearted Blues,” “Look for the Silver Lining,” and get a little “Moonglow” “When The Moon Comes Over The Mountain” on Wednesday night, when you’ll be “Breezin’ Along With The Breeze” of “The Object of my Affection,” Max Raabe & Palast Orchester. “I’m in the Mood for Love” already, “Says My Heart.”

Max Raabe & Palast Orchester
presented by LA Phil at Walt Disney Concert Hall
Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 8:00 PM
for tickets, call 323.850.2000 or visit http://www.laphil.com

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