This week’s Song of the Day selections come from the founders of Five Boroughs Music Festival Jesse Blumberg and Donna Breitzer. NYFOS is partnering with 5BMF in January to bring our NYFOS@Juilliard program Harry, Hoagy, and Harold to Flushing Town Hall. Welcome, Jesse & Donna!
Well, first let us say what a treat it is to be guest-curating this week! While Five Boroughs Music Festival doesn’t present song programs exclusively, they’ve always been a big part of our chamber music diet. And in that sense, NYFOS has always been a shining beacon to us, with its constantly surprising and thoroughly entertaining programming. We were so proud when our Blier-led Manning the Canon show graduated to the NYFOS Mainstage a few years back. And this season boasts another great moment in our relationship, as we bring the beloved NYFOS@Juilliard program “off-campus” to Flushing Town Hall on January 17th! (Tickets available here!)
Shameless plug completed, now to the music! In November 2007, we kicked off Five Boroughs Music Festival with inaugural performances in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Naturally, our very first program featured a whole mess of ‘NYC Songs,’ including this Rodgers & Hart classic, in a charming performance by tenor Scott Murphree and pianist Jocelyn Dueck. Those of you who are familiar with 5BMF’s modus operandi might find this first entry surprising, considering what an effort we’re always making to combat ‘Manhattan-centricity’ when it comes to live chamber music performances in NYC. But we of course love that two other boroughs are mentioned in the song almost immediately, and other places all around the city soon follow. (Gentle Yonkers-dwellers, we enjoy that you’re mentioned too, even if you’re not technically residents of the Five Boroughs.)
Here’s a wonderfully endearing version from the 1929 Makers of Melody. We’ll just leave it here:
And now with all the magical vocalism and style of the legendary Ella Fitzgerald:
Stay tuned for more geographically-informed song selections this week!
Jesse Blumberg & Donna Breather
Five Boroughs Music Festival