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  • Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue; Piano Concerto in F; An American in Paris
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Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue; Piano Concerto in F; An American in Paris

20 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: André Previn
  • Composer: George Gershwin
  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Philips
  • ASIN: B0000040WS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,286 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By John Kwok HALL OF FAME on April 19, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I don't know whether these are definitive performances of Gershwin's orchestral music, but if they're not then they should be. Previn does a marvellous job as a conductor and soloist who has a great affinity and compassion for Gershwin's music. Indeed, Previn is as much at home playing jazz music as he is conducting Rachmaninov. These are warm, no nonsense readings of Gershwin's music that lack the flamboyance of Bernstein's interpretations with the New York Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic. Previn produces a warm, vibrant sound from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Once again Philips has excelled in producing a well-balanced digital recording. If you're a fan of Gershwin or 20th Century Classical Music (or both) then this splendid recording belongs in your CD collection.
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58 of 67 people found the following review helpful By The Man in the Hathaway Shirt on October 18, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Get ready for a terrific American in Paris, filled with Previn's swagger and jauntiness. This plays like film music, and it's no wonder the conductor was at home. The rest of the disc is far more problematic. The Rhapsody is ill-conceived and sounds under-rehearsed. There's not much sense of build. This is somewhat "top-heavy" music to start with, and you have to play it for all its worth. Leonard Bernstein still does the best performance (as both conductor and pianist) I've ever heard, even though he cuts the middle section. (It's better that way; Gershwin sometimes let structure get away from him.) And the Concerto in F is an abomination. It sounds more like a rehearsal than a performance. Previn skims some notes and doesn't voice all the chords. There's no strong rhythm (essential in this work) and the accents are missing. The Pittsburghers sound like they're trudging along. They loved being conducted by Previn and they made some great recordings under his baton, but this isn't one of them.
Sound is okay, though a bit bottom-heavy and "tubby." Some of the dynamics sound exaggerated to me--the bass drum and cymbals EXPLODE through the speakers at times. All in all, you can do better for two of three of these works, so I wouldn't grab this disc unless 1) I found it used very cheap (Amazon will probably edit that remark out) or 2) I'm an "American in Paris" fanatic who is willing to pay anything for a good recording of that work.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Montano on July 19, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I never really agreed with Bernstein's take on Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and American in Paris. After listening to Previn's version, I was blown away by the jazzy classic sounds of Gershwin in clear digitized sound. And I even found a new work to love: the Piano Concerto in F really steals the show! I never really cared for it until I heard Previn's conduction on this piece. As for An American in Paris, we really see Gershwin's obvious loneliness that he experienced in the fine portions of France. With the sad wailing brass sections and lonely violins. Rhapsody in Blue makes you want to go psycho out in the streets to the tunes. Umm.. See for yourself on this truly American compact disc containing crisp music from one of the greatest classical/jazz artists in America!
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Peter J. Arts on December 29, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I first bought a cassette of this album back in 1985, and have loved it ever since. The reason is simple...unlike Bernstein's ponderous posturing and Fiedler's 'friendly' sound, this sounds like NYC. THAT'S GERSHWIN!

It is dynamic, exciting and robust conducting that the Pittsburgh responded to with 100% brio. When I listen to Rhapsody, I don't have time to criticize Gershwin's lack of 'structure'...because I am swimming in his 'American style' of music that didn't need to cowtow to the dictates of European composers or classicists.

I defy you to listen to the Adagio of "Concerto in F," and not feel yourself at 3 in the morning, walking alone down a silent NYC street, and wondering how you got that way. This is what Gershwin wanted to do...make you feel the things he felt and saw in his life. Previn gets out of the way, and lets Gershwin do the talking.

If you haven't treated yourself to this masterful series of performances, it is time to do so.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful By gobirds2 TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 16, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Andre Previn really found musical kinship with Gershwin's compositions. We feel the loneliness in "An American in Paris" and an almost adulation in "Rhapsody in Blue" unlike other famous interpretations and renditions. Like many other film composers born overseas, Previn born in 1926 Berlin, Germany seems to have been intoxicated by the feel for the multifaceted makeup of the American landscapes be they natural or man-made. Many of these composers such as Dimitri Tiomkin, Franz Waxman and Max Steiner seem to have adopted their new home with energetic reverence and exuberance for the very essence of the land and people of America. Andre Previn even though he emigrated in a generation latter demonstrated the same zeal as these great composers. The performances of George Gershwin's music on this CD are testament to Previn's coming to America.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By yygsgsdrassil on May 2, 2000
Format: Audio CD
....Previn's piano playing here flows and eases into Gershwin's famous piano concertos...unlike others I have listened to which were choppy and hard and attacking... I have listened to this "Rhapsody in Blue" for years and consider it to be one of the top ten best music recordings (of any kind), ever...
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