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Gershwin By Grofe: Original Orchestrations & Arrangements [Import]

Ferde Grofe , George Gershwin , Steven Richman , Harmonie Ensemble / New York , Lincoln Mayorga , Al Gallodoro Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Price: $17.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Performer: Lincoln Mayorga, Al Gallodoro
  • Orchestra: Harmonie Ensemble / New York
  • Conductor: Steven Richman
  • Composer: George Gershwin
  • Audio CD (April 13, 2010)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi
  • ASIN: B0031B7EOU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,217 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. I Got Rhythm Variations for piano and orchestra (1934)
2. The Yankee Doodle Blues (from Spice of 1922)
3. The Yankee Doodle Blues (new acoustic recording on a 1909 Edison Fireside phonograph)
4. That Certain Feeling (from Tip-Toes 1925)
5. Somebody Loves Me (from George White's Scandals of 1924)
6. Sweet and Low-down (from Tip-Toes)
7. I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise (from George White's Scandals of 1924)
8. The Man I Love (first recording of 1938 version)
9. Fascinating Rhythm (from Lady, Be Good)
10. Summertime (from Porgy and Bess, 1935)
11. Rhapsody in Blue (1924) (Original jazz band version)

Editorial Reviews

In this swinging set of symphonic jazz, Steven Richman and the GRAMMY® nominated Harmonie Ensemble New York perform a fascinating selection of music by George Gershwin. In addition to a reconstruction of Gershwin s own 1934 orchestration of the I Got Rhythm Variations, Richman offers several orchestrations penned by composer and arranger Ferde Grofé in the 1920 s for the Paul Whiteman Orchestra. The disc s main event is a red-hot performance of the original jazz band version of the immortal Rhapsody in Blue with pianist Lincoln Mayorga. The famous clarinet solo is played by the late, great Al Gallodoro, who was in his late nineties when the recording was made. Gallodoro played clarinet in the Whiteman Orchestra and can claim the distinction of having the world s record for the most performances of the work s iconic slide (over 10,000 times). Also included are a selection of Gershwin s Broadway tunes including Summertime in a beautiful reading by Gallodoro and Mayorga, but the album s special gem is a reading of The Yankee Doodle Blues, recorded by the Harmonie Ensemble New York on a wax cylinder (!) using a 1909 Edison Fireside phonograph.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Lincoln Mayorga's somewhat fleet and understated approach to the solo part in "Rhapsody In Blue" might not be to everyone's liking. He plays it as though he were entertaining a smallish audience in a smaller than usual venue. I like it, but I can seen how others might prefer a heavier hand. What is totally irresistible then, is the painstaking job taken in recreating the original Ferde Grofe orchestrations for the Paul Whiteman Orchestra (I Got Rhythm Var.; Yankee Doodle Blues; That Certain Feeling; Somebody Loves Me; Sweet & Low-down: I'll Build A Stairway To Paradise; The Man I Love; Fascinating Rhythm; Summertime, etc.). This is just like listening to Gershwin as it was presented in the classic black-and-white films of the 30s and 40s - only in excellent sound (and without the distortion). You might think to yourself, "big deal; Michael Tilson Thomas did the same thing". But these arrangements go a lot farther in recreating that special "ricky-ticky" jazz flavor of the times. Reed player Al Gallodoro assisted conductor Steven Richman in producing the authentic sounds with the correct inflections, etc. He should know - he was there! I love this disc - just don't expect the "Rhapsody" to sound like Earl Wild - who I do like! - with Arthur Fiedler beside him. Instead, put on your dancing shoes and practice your society dance steps.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gershwin still dazzles July 25, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Steven Richman take his ensemble to that place where classical art meets popular entertainment and navigates smoothly and confidently through those choppy waters. In other words, these are classy performances, performed by technically dextrous musicians, but the end result is pure fun. You might want to dance to Ferde Grofe's takes on Gershwin's tunes, but you find you'd rather listen because the arrangements are just too interesting. Grofe, after all, is the orchestrator responsible for the twenty-six-year-old Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, He was, as they say, "present at the creation." The CD also benefits from a master clarinetist straight from the Gershwin era, the late Al Gallodoro, whose rich sound and whose swinging, seemingly effortless improvisations are on display here. An instructive novelty are two recordings of an early Gershwin song, Yankee Doodle Blues, one is done "straight," the other on an Edison cylinder machine which has been lovingly preserved. But the lion's share of the credit must ultimately go to Richman, whose relaxed tempos allow the tunes to breathe. His love for, and great knowledge of, the era are evident in every aspect of this recording, including the extensive liner notes. Art and entertainment have met on this CD, and the winner is . . . music.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Razzle-Dazzle of Gershwin's Tin Pan Alley May 6, 2010
Format:Audio CD
This sparkling new recording is a winner. For anyone who is curious what sounds Gershwin had imagined when writing his "Rhapsody in Blue", this album gives a pretty good idea. Unlike the scratchy 78s of Gershwin's own time, though, here the Jazz Age soundworld is (mercifully) recreated with 21st-century recording techniques. The Rhapsody is preceded by a snappy selection of Broadway tunes delivered with flair and style. Don't miss this magical musical trip down memory lane!
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