Something Wonderful: George Gershwin plays Rhapsody In Blue -- The Piano Rolls Recording
The greatest and most evocative piece of American music ever written:
"The composition came together just five weeks before the concert, during a train ride from New York to Boston. As Gershwin told his biographer Isaac Goldberg in 1931:
It was on the train, with its steely rhythms, its rattle-ty bang, that is so often so stimulating to a composer–I frequently hear music in the very heart of the noise…. And there I suddenly heard–and even saw on paper–the complete construction of the Rhapsody from beginning to end. No new themes came to me, but I worked on the thematic material already in my mind and tried to conceive the composition as a whole. I heard it as a sort of musical kaleidoscope of America, of our vast melting pot, of our unduplicated national pep, of our metropolitan madness. By the time I reached Boston I had a definite plot of the piece, as distinguished from its actual substance.
A year later Gershwin recorded a solo version of Rhapsody on two separate piano rolls for the Aeolean Company in New York. Part II, with its famous slow theme, or “Adante” (beginning at 9:07 above), followed by the piece’s bravura finale, was released to the public in May of 1925, but the longer Part I wasn’t released until January of 1927." -- From Gershwin Plays Gershwin: The Piano Version of ‘Rhapsody in Blue,’ 1925
Posted by gerardvanderleun at January 29, 2013 12:43 PM