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Classical Pick of the Week: Rhapsody in Hue

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part 1 of "Rhapsody in Blue" from Fantasia 2000

The California Phil is one of the many great orchestras in the Los Angeles area that offers varied and exciting programming in the Ambassador and the Walt Disney Concert Hall throughout the year. They open up their summer season with a concert at the Arboretum, a beautiful botanic garden located in the heart of Arcadia. The Arboretum is a 127-acre park which includes the famous lagoon from Fantasy Island and Tarzan. You can get there early and look around for some peacocks, exotic plants, and have a picnic. For the actual concert they have tables, chairs, or lawn area seating, and you can buy beverages and gourmet meals prepared on the site. The dining begins at 5:30, and you can sit and listen to some live jazz while you eat.

Even if you are not an avid classical music listener, the program contains pieces familiar to most ears and is mixed in with jazz and Broadway pieces to satisfy everyone. The program is aptly titled "America the Beautiful" which includes Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, Mel Tormé's California Suite, Grand Canyon Suite by Ferde Grofe, Copland's Appalachian Spring (includes the famous Shaker melody), New York New York, and excerpts from Chicago. Norman Krieger is performing the Rhapsody and James Tormé is performing his father's piece which includes singer, jazz trio, and orchestra. All the performances at the Arboretum are on Saturday nights with a repeat of the program on the following Sunday afternoon at the Disney Hall. Here is a brochure to see the entire summer schedule.

part two of the video after the jump...and details of the concert