Rhapsody in Blue - 100th anniversary

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    Rhapsody in Blue - 100th anniversary

    I have read today that apparently it had its first performance on 12th February 1924 . What’s your favourite recording ? Mine I think is the one of Simon Rattle’s Jazz album I think with Peter Donohoe but have soft spots for Previn and Lenny .

    #2
    Originally posted by Barbirollians View Post
    I have read today that apparently it had its first performance on 12th February 1924 . What’s your favourite recording ? Mine I think is the one of Simon Rattle’s Jazz album I think with Peter Donohoe but have soft spots for Previn and Lenny .
    Good choices, Barbs, but there's also the very special 1925 piano roll version with Tilson Thomas:

    Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue, An American in Paris & Broadway Overtures (Expanded Edition). Sony: G010001223040J. Buy download online. George Gershwin (piano), Columbia Jazz Band, Michael Tilson Thomas (piano), Sarah Vaughan (vocals), Andy Simpkins (bass), Harold Jones (drums), George Gaffney (piano) New York Philharmonic, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra


    I pity poor Alpie if this ever comes up for Building a Library: 441 hits on the Presto site.

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      #3
      Originally posted by Barbirollians View Post
      I have read today that apparently it had its first performance on 12th February 1924 . What’s your favourite recording ? Mine I think is the one of Simon Rattle’s Jazz album I think with Peter Donohoe but have soft spots for Previn and Lenny .
      Oh that explains the ad blitz of recent days.

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        #4
        Yes, the piano roll/TilsonThomas was a revelation to me, not least ithe tempi, very different from many modern performances. So I think that's probably the most HIPP version. Apart from that I've always been fond of Julius Katchen's recording with the LSO and Istvan Kertesz. It may have been Julius' last recording (KIngsway Hall, 28 November 1968).

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          #5
          There's an article about the work in this month's (February 2024) BBC MM, and a performance on the cover CD: William Wolfram/BBCNOW/Eric Stern, recorded in St David's Hall, Cardiff, on 15 April 2016.

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            #6
            Originally posted by Pulcinella View Post

            Good choices, Barbs, but there's also the very special 1925 piano roll version with Tilson Thomas:

            Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue, An American in Paris & Broadway Overtures (Expanded Edition). Sony: G010001223040J. Buy download online. George Gershwin (piano), Columbia Jazz Band, Michael Tilson Thomas (piano), Sarah Vaughan (vocals), Andy Simpkins (bass), Harold Jones (drums), George Gaffney (piano) New York Philharmonic, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra


            I pity poor Alpie if this ever comes up for Building a Library: 441 hits on the Presto site.
            That MTT Gershwin piano roll recording is a knockout and you can never hear the work in its more conventional form again. Surprised to see that it's no longer on CD but copies are available from the usual sources.
            "The sound is the handwriting of the conductor" - Bernard Haitink

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              #7
              I like the Steinberg/Sanroma recording first released here by WRC. It has great vitality and an appropriately boxy acoustic despite being recorded by Everest on 35mm film.

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                #8
                Originally posted by Petrushka View Post

                That MTT Gershwin piano roll recording is a knockout and you can never hear the work in its more conventional form again. Surprised to see that it's no longer on CD but copies are available from the usual sources.
                Looks like it's in this 2CD set:

                Essential George Gershwin. Sony: S2K89913. Buy 2 CDs online. George Gershwin (piano), Ethel Waters (vocal), Tommy Dorsey (trombone), Mannie Klein (trumpet), Ben Selvin (violin), Jimmy Dorsey (clarinet), Buck & Bubbles, Buck Washington (vocal, piano), John "Bubbles" Sublett (vocal), Joe Bushkin (piano), Artie Shaw (clarinet), Bunny Berigan (trumpet), Cozy...


                And indeed on SACD here:

                Orff: Carmina Burana, Beethoven: Late Choral Music & Gershwin: An American in Paris & Rhapsody in Blue. Dutton: 2CDLX7369. Buy 2 SACDs online. George Gershwin (1925 piano roll) London Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Chorus, New York Philharmonic, The Columbia Jazz Band, Michael Tilson Thomas

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                  #9
                  Wild/Fiedler

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                    #10
                    Gershwin/Whiteman on 78 and Previn on CD.

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                      #11
                      Ordered a second-hand copy of the Gershwin MTT for £2.30 from Amazon - look forward to hearing it and yes the Wild/Fiedler is a lot of fun.

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                        #12
                        Another very good performance is the Freddy Kempf on BIS.

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                          #13
                          One of my entrees to classical music and despite listening to it innumerable times I still love the piece.

                          The original Gershwin / Whiteman 1924 acoustic recording is my absolute favourite by some way. The Pristine Classical mastering is less interventionist than some but, to me, strikes a good balance between de-noising and retaining instrumental timbres and some sense of acoustic space. The Gershwin piano roll / MTT version is next best. Other modern 'jazz band' versions come some way down from these two; I like the Donohoe / Rattle but perhaps just because it was the first version I actually bought. Any of the full orchestral versions are a long way further down for me.

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by Pulcinella View Post

                            I pity poor Alpie if this ever comes up for Building a Library: 441 hits on the Presto site.
                            Didn't I mention that I'd be assigning that one to you.

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                              #15
                              Can anyone clarify who orchestrated which version? I've heard conflicting tales, involving Gershwin himself and Ferde Grofe.

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