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Gershwin: Rhapsody In Blue / Camilo

Camilo,Michel
Release Date: 02/28/2006 
Label:  Telarc   Catalog #: 63611  
Composer:  George Gershwin
Performer:  Michel Camilo
Conductor:  Ernest Martíne Izquierdo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Barcelona Symphony Orchestra

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


"We need to think of Rhapsody in Blue more from a jazz than a classical perspective," says jazz pianist Michael Camilo, an assertion he backs up in his thrilling performance on this new Telarc disc. Camilo's emphasis on rhythm (he is a former percussionist) and most of all, on jazz's improvisatory nature, gives his rendition the feeling of being composed in-the-momment. (Gershwin himself reportedly improvised the piano part at the work's premiere.) With most every other performance you can relax into half-attentive listening, knowing exactly what's coming next. Not so with Camilo--he's as liable to play with daring speed where we usually hear relaxed schmaltzing, or break into an
Read more unexpected yet totally appropriate honky-tonk rhythm. Conductor Ernest Martinez Izquierdo mostly follows Camilo's lead, though Michael Tilson Thomas better catches the brazen nature of Gerswhin's score.


Of course, the Concerto in F is a more formally classical piece, yet even here Camilo injects new life with his vibrant rhythms and lively imagination. He perfectly captures the blues spirit of the poignant main theme in his arresting first-movement entrance, and he ideally depicts the playful character of the deceptively stern and driven finale. Camilo's fresh, jazz-inflected approach reminds us of just how innovative Gershwin's work is. Izquierdo and the Barcelona Symphony perform brilliantly, though they lack a bit of the American jazz "feel" you get from orchestras such as the Boston Pops with Fiedler and the San Francisco Symphony with Thomas. No matter, Camilo makes up for this in spades--and he offers a bonus treat: a deliciously bluesy Prelude No. 2 featuring a number of his own improvised variations. Telarc's sound is a little more piano-focused than usual for this label, but the stereo SACD sound offers clarity, presence, and exceptional impact. S'wonderful! [4/28/2006]
--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin
Performer:  Michel Camilo (Piano)
Conductor:  Ernest Martíne Izquierdo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Barcelona Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; USA 
2. Concerto for Piano in F major by George Gershwin
Performer:  Michel Camilo (Piano)
Conductor:  Ernest Martíne Izquierdo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Barcelona Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1925; USA 

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