Rhapsody in Blue - 100th anniversary

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  • Ein Heldenleben
    replied
    Originally posted by french frank View Post
    Interesting article in the g about the context of black American music/jazz and contemporary music by white American composers, and the arguments about 'cultural appropriation' v cultural fusion, focusing on the Rhapsody.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...still-gershwin
    Interesting article - thanks for posting. Duke Ellington once famously said that there’s nothing of Black American music in Porgy and Bess - I reckon that comment applies more strongly to RIB. Summertime for example is a modified minor twelve bar blues. Rhapsody in Blue has “blue “ notes but I can’t see the shape of a classic twelve blues anywhere in it.
    Interesting that many jazz musicians didn’t share Ellington’s reservations. Gershwins tunes have been endlessly improvised around : Charlie Parker’s My Old Flame taking a rather syrupy Gershwin ballad into the realms , in my view , of timeless art, They even borrowed Gershwin chord sequences so that if you refer to an I Got Rythmn middle eight jazz musicians know exactly what you mean - it’s used endlessly in 40’s bebop. In turn Gershwin was accused of lifting the four note melody of I got Rhythm from an earlier African American Composer. The truth is it’s almost impossible to work out who’s borrowed / stolen/ copied what from whom. In practice cultural appropriation is simply musicians doing what they’ve always done - I like the sound of that and I’m either going to borrow it, copy it or , in the case of Miles Davis / Gil Evans Porgy and Bess album transform it.

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  • french frank
    replied
    Interesting article in the g about the context of black American music/jazz and contemporary music by white American composers, and the arguments about 'cultural appropriation' v cultural fusion, focusing on the Rhapsody.

    Leave a comment:


  • smittims
    replied
    Thanks. That seems to simplify and clarify the matter.

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  • Pulcinella
    replied
    Originally posted by smittims View Post
    Can anyone clarify who orchestrated which version? I've heard conflicting tales, involving Gershwin himself and Ferde Grofe.
    The Wiki entry is pretty informative:

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  • Eine Alpensinfonie
    replied
    One of the interesting thing about the Gershwin piano roll is that he plays in much stricter time than in most modern performances. The big lush romantic melody doesn't have an extended pause on every crotchet. He plays what he wrote. So When Michael Tilson Thomas adds the band notes (making the pauses, before the piano entry) Gershwin appears to ignore him in the time warp that follows.

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

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  • Eine Alpensinfonie
    replied
    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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  • duncan
    replied
    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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  • Barbirollians
    replied
    Another very good performance is the Freddy Kempf on BIS.

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  • Barbirollians
    replied
    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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  • hmvman
    replied
    Gershwin/Whiteman on 78 and Previn on CD.

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  • richardfinegold
    replied
    Wild/Fiedler

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  • Pulcinella
    replied
    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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  • gradus
    replied
    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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  • Petrushka
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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