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  • Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue; An American in Paris
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Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue; An American in Paris

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Audio CD, February 26, 2013
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Product Details

  • Conductor: André Previn
  • Composer: Gershwin
  • Audio CD (February 26, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • ASIN: B00AM5R7HC
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #315,791 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Rhapsody in Blue (orch. Ferde Grofé)
2. An American in Paris
3. Piano Concerto in F - I. Allegro
4. Piano Concerto in F - II. Adagio Andante con moto
5. Piano Concerto in F - III. Allegro agitato

Editorial Reviews

'Previn's [performance of the Concerto] has great virtues; the touching solo playing at the end of the slow movement, for example, and the tremendous virtuosity of the LSO in the finale … A splendid performance of An American in Paris, full of virtuoso playing and of real character.' - GRAMOPHONE

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Rhapsody in Blue is a brilliant piece of music which I never tire of hearing. Gershwin's masterpiece received a new lease of life in 1979 when Woody Allen used it on the soundtrack of Manhattan, his film about New York City. The music was originally played by jazz bands before it became part of the classical repertoire in the 1940s. I love this 1971 interpretation from Andre Previn and the LSO. Previn was a jazz pianist before he became a classical conductor. In my opinion having a foot in both camps helped him get the most out of this music.

My parents owned a 1950s vinyl recording featuring the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra. Hans Jurgen Walther was the conductor and David Haines was the pianist. It was a very powerful and energetic performance. As a kid in the 1960s and 1970s I heard this recording regularly and for me it became the definitive version. Unfortunately you cannot buy this recording on CD.

In 1973 I bought a nine minute jazz-rock version by Eumir Deodato, a Brazilian arranger, who had worked with Frank Sinatra. Deodato hired the cream of the New York session community and also great jazz musicians like Billy Cobham (drums) and Stanley Clarke (bass). His recording, with a real rhythm section, really rocked. An abbreviated version even made the Billboard singles chart and reached #41. This is still an exciting and fun interpretation.

In 1974 my music teacher played me the Bernstein version. I was surprised to find out later on, that this is many people's favorite version. I was not impressed, to me it just seemed wrong. The tempo was too slow and Bernstein's piano playing was tentative and lacked aggression. I still have no idea who David Haines was but he seemed a much better pianist than Bernstein. Ultimately it is all a matter of taste.
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