Merriam-Webster’s defines a “gazebo” as “a freestanding roofed structure usually open on the sides,” and suggests the word’s etymology might derive from the combination of the word “gaze” plus the Latin verb ending “ebo” resulting in “gaze-ebo” or “I shall gaze.”
To most Americans, however, “gazebo” conjures up warm, summer days spent out-of-doors: If you imagine yourself inside a gazebo, you’re probably enjoying a cool beverage while gazing out at the greenery—or, if you fancy yourself outside one, you’re probably seated in a lawn chair, gazing at a group of gazebo-sheltered band musicians playing a pops concert for your entertainment.
In the early 1970’s, the American composer John Corigliano wrote a series of whimsical four-hand piano dances he dedicated to certain of his pianist friends, and then later arranged these pieces for concert band, entitling the resulting suite “Gazebo Dances. “
“The title,” explained Corigliano, “was suggested by the pavilions often seen on village greens in towns throughout the countryside, where public band concerts are given in the summer. The delights of that sort of entertainment are portrayed in this set of dances, which begins with a Rossini-like Overture, followed by a rather peg-legged Waltz, a long-lined Adagio, and a bouncy Tarantella.”
The concert band version of Corigliano’s “Gazebo Dances” was first performed in Indiana on today’s date in 1973, by the University of Evansville Wind Ensemble, with Robert Bailey conducting.
Music Played in Today's Program
John Corigliano (b. 1938)Gazebo DancesUniversity of Texas Wind Ensemble; Jerry Junkin, cond.Naxos 8.559601