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Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue; Concerto in F; American in Paris [Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered]

George Gershwin , André Previn , London Symphony Orchestra Audio CD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Conductor, composer and pianist André Previn’s achievements have brought him numerous honours, including the Cross of Merit from both Austria and Germany, a Kennedy Center Honor for Lifetime Achievement, several Grammy Awards, Musical America’s ”Musician of the Year 1999”, and the Grand Prix du disque for the recording of his opera A ... Read more in Amazon's Andre Previn Store

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Product Details

  • Performer: André Previn
  • Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: André Previn
  • Composer: George Gershwin
  • Audio CD (March 9, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B00000IGWV
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,207 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Rhapsody In Blue
2. Rhapsody In Blue: 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

The best Gershwin pianists are able to fuse a solid classical technique with an innate feeling for jazz timekeeping. André Previn is ideal in both respects. He knows that Gershwin's lyrical musings need not be distended, as one might do in a Tchaikovsky or Liszt concerto. Previn also accents syncopated figures without overemphasizing them, or beating them into the ground. On the other hand, Previn can't help monkeying around with the text, but many Gershwin pianists have done worse. The London Philharmonic matches their soloist-conductor in verve and swagger. Fine as the concerted works are, An American in Paris takes the cake in a performance that truly evokes a wide-eyed tourist swept up in the bustle and allure of any vibrant city. The 1971 sonics haven't aged a bit, and EMI's newly minted transfer will please the most exacting audiophile. --Jed Distler

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great is an understatement. August 4, 2000
Format:Audio CD
This is, in my humble opinion, the absolute best recording of these works. Unlike other versions out there which always seem to want to water down the jazziness of these works, these performances seem to rejoice in it. I have to say that I can not find a single fault with this disc. Even the remastered sound is superb. If you're tired of the badly played "classical" interpretations of these pieces, this CD is for you. Otherwise, there's always plenty of horrid recordings out there for you to enjoy.;^)
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The LSO ain't a great jazz ensemble October 10, 2001
Format:Audio CD
If this is the only rendition of these Gerswhin pieces you've heard, then you'll probably be satisfied; however if you have a copy of Jeffrey Siegel with Leonard Slatkin and the Saint Louis Symphony, then you might be less charmed by Previn's approach and you could well be downright disappointed by some of the orchestral playing, particularly the brass and woodwinds. The sound quality is not ideal either, the piano relentlessly dominant, and the orchestral details indistinct, and despite the very recent remastering there is an edginess to the sound that is unnatural and distracting. For mine, definitely not one of the great recordings of the century.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Previn plays classical Gerswin August 31, 2012
Format:Audio CD
Here André Previn plays and directs the London Symphony Orchestra in three works from 20th century America that are now in the standard classical repertoire: the orchestral score from 1928 that inspired the 1951 film on the same theme of An American in Paris; and two works for piano and orchestra - the First Rhapsody or Rhapsody in Blue and the Piano Concerto in F Major. Rhapsody in Blue was composed by Gershwin in 1924 under a commission from Paul Whiteman for his all-white band to play but it had to be orchestrated by Whiteman's pianist, Ferde Grofe. By the time Gershwin came to write the piano concerto the following year he had learned enough about orchestration to be able to do the job himself. Even when playing the classics, Previn seems to inject some magic from his role as jazz pianist in the light and shade of his performances. Much as I enjoy Oscar Levant's performances of these pieces in mono, my first choice for performance would have to be for Previn as soloist and conductor. As for the reviewer who found these performances boring - this isn't meant to be jazz - it's classical music and Previn plays it appropriately and brilliantly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe the ever! May 26, 2013
Format:Audio CD
I have owned and played this cd for years. I can't imagine anybody doing it any better than Previn. His expertise in jazz as well as classical makes him the great person for these pieces of music. And he pulls them off with aplomb! The orchestra participates in the celebration too! Wow, they are good! In fact, I couldn't believe how good this recording was until I played it. Even then it was hard to believe I had heard that amazing disc. It danced out of my cd right into my heart. I am sure there are other good performances out there. But I am also sure this one was sanctioned in Gershwin heaven. At the risk of sounding gloomy, I believe George would have danced on top of his coffin upon hearing these performances. It's hard for me to imagine a better recording by anybody. I haven't heard it, but I am sure Bernstein's would be excellent as well. I can imagine how good his might be. But top this one?
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Lennie Bernstein September 8, 2008
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This was a very good rendition. All else pales beside the Bernstein version I heard some years ago. More fire and thunder with Bernstein conducting.
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