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Gershwin By Grofe - Original Orchestrations & Arrangements

Gershwin / Mayorga / Gallodoro / Richman
Release Date: 04/13/2010 
Label:  Harmonia Mundi   Catalog #: 907492  
Composer:  George Gershwin
Performer:  Lincoln MayorgaAlfred Gallodoro
Conductor:  Steven Richman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonie Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews


This is a wonderful disc in every respect. Paul Whiteman clarinet/sax player Al Gallodoro passed away a few weeks after this recording was made, at the ripe old age of 95. You'd never guess his age from his playing: whether in the raucous opening glissando of Rhapsody in Blue or in the numerous solo licks elsewhere, he rocks, plain and simple. Lincoln Mayorga also proves to be a fine Gershwin pianist. He gives the music an easy elegance and sophistication that never turns mannered or self-conscious, as so often happens when classical artists attempt what they consider to be a jazz style.

More importantly, Steven Richman has assembled (and conducts) a splendid program that more than
Read more justifies buying yet another recording of the two concertante chestnuts. Ferde Grofé arranged a bunch of Gershwin songs for the Whiteman band, and they sound marvelous as played here. Titles include "Fascinating Rhythm", "The Man I Love", "Summertime", "That Certain Feeling", "Somebody Loves Me", "I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise", and no less than two versions of "The Yankee Doodle Blues". One is a normal recording, while the other was made, just for fun, acoustically, on an Edison cylinder using a "period instrument".

The result speaks volumes about what some listeners claim to be hearing on actual historical recordings. Let's just say that a modern acoustical recording sounds just like you would expect: terrible, and more to the point, not anything like what instruments really sound like in real life. Not even close. Happily, the sonics elsewhere are outstanding, capturing the vivid playing of Richman's Harmonie Ensemble with unfailing naturalness. Go for it.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com

Richman’s spot-on sense of pacing, balance and emphasis guarantee that every Grofé-conjured utterance receives discerning and shapely animation. The ensemble and solo playing likely would bowl over both the composer and Whiteman.

-- Gramophone

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In this swinging set of "symphonic jazz," Steve Richman and the Harmonie Ensemble / New York recreate the original orchestrations made by Ferde Grofé for the Paul Whiteman Orchestra. The programme features Gershwin’s immortal Rhapsody in Blue (with soloist Lincoln Mayorga and legendary reedman Al Gallodoro), the I Got Rhythm Variations, and a selection of George’s Broadway tunes, including Summertime in a beautiful reading by Al and Lincoln. Not to be missed is the acoustic (!) version of The Yankee Doodle Blues which the HE/NY recorded on a wax cylinder using a 1909 Edison Fireside phonograph.
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Works on This Recording

1. Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin
Performer:  Lincoln Mayorga (Piano), Alfred Gallodoro (Clarinet)
Conductor:  Steven Richman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonie Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; USA 
Notes: Arranger: Grofé (1924)
Original jazz band version. 
2. Variations on "I got rhythm" for Piano and Orchestra by George Gershwin
Performer:  Lincoln Mayorga (Piano), Alfred Gallodoro (Clarinet)
Conductor:  Steven Richman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonie Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1934; USA 
3. Spice of 1922: Yankee Doodle Blues by George Gershwin
Performer:  Lincoln Mayorga (Piano), Alfred Gallodoro (Clarinet)
Conductor:  Steven Richman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonie Ensemble
4. Lady, be Good: The man I love by George Gershwin
Performer:  Lincoln Mayorga (Piano), Alfred Gallodoro (Clarinet)
Conductor:  Steven Richman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonie Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; USA 
5. Tip-toes: That certain feeling by George Gershwin
Performer:  Lincoln Mayorga (Piano), Alfred Gallodoro (Clarinet)
Conductor:  Steven Richman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonie Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1925; New York, USA 
6. George White's Scandals of 1924: Somebody loves me by George Gershwin
Performer:  Lincoln Mayorga (Piano), Alfred Gallodoro (Clarinet)
Conductor:  Steven Richman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonie Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; USA 
7. Tip-toes: Sweet and low-down by George Gershwin
Performer:  Lincoln Mayorga (Piano), Alfred Gallodoro (Clarinet)
Conductor:  Steven Richman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonie Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1925; New York, USA 
8. George White's Scandals of 1922: I'll build a stairway to paradise by George Gershwin
Performer:  Lincoln Mayorga (Piano), Alfred Gallodoro (Clarinet)
Conductor:  Steven Richman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonie Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1922; USA 
9. Lady, be Good: Fascinating rhythm by George Gershwin
Performer:  Lincoln Mayorga (Piano), Alfred Gallodoro (Clarinet)
Conductor:  Steven Richman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonie Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; USA 
10. Porgy and Bess: Summertime by George Gershwin
Performer:  Lincoln Mayorga (Piano), Alfred Gallodoro (Clarinet)
Conductor:  Steven Richman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonie Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935; USA 

Featured Sound Samples

Variations on "I Got Rhythm"
George White's Scandals of 1922: I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise

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