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Gershwin: An American in Paris, Piano Concerto in F, 3 Preludes & Lullaby / Serebrier, RSNO


Release Date: 01/04/2019 
Label:  Somm   Catalog #: 5003  
Composer:  George Gershwin
Performer:  Leopold III Godowsky
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Somm Recordings closes the 120th anniversary year of George Gershwin’s birth with the re-issue of the historic 1998 Centennial Edition recording initiated by the composer’s sister, Frances Gershwin, together with first appearances of two orchestrations commissioned from José Serebrier. Originally released on Dinemec Classics, the Gershwin Centennial Edition features the composer’s nephew and Frances’ son, pianist Leopold Godowsky III, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted by José Serebrier. The recording followed a concert in London organized by the composer’s formidable sister, Frances – 96 at the time – who invited Serebrier to conduct An American in Paris, the Concerto in F, and, in specially commissioned Read more orchestrations by Serebrier, the Three Preludes and Lullaby. The programme shows Gershwin at his inimitable, era-defining best. Composed as an extended ballet sequence for the 1951 MGM musical starring Gene Kelly, An American in Paris is a buoyant, Technicolor-bright tribute to the French capital shot through with jazz-accented vitality. The Concerto in F is a bold, brassy, brilliantly orchestrated work with a grandstanding piano line bridging the worlds of classical music and jazz. Its animated opening movement is followed by a Blues-tinged Adagio and a finale boasting a helter-skelter orgy of rhythm and athletic pianism. Initially reluctant to orchestrate Lullaby, Serebrier says: “Now I am glad Leopold persuaded me. I have tried to keep the scoring as simple and pure as possible, so that the orchestral version of this poignantly lovely piece might take on a life of its own in a voice that is still recognizably Gershwin’s”. The never before re-issued is a brilliant reminder of one of the most remarkable talents of the 20th century in performances by one of his greatest interpreters.

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REVIEW:

The Preludes make an easy transfer from piano to ensemble in Serebrier’s stylish and idiomatic scoring for orchestra. The addition of woodwinds (including suave saxophone) to Gershwin’s strings in Lullaby is nicely imagined, a gentle lilt pervasive and, at the midpoint, some of the composer’s most-tender and haunting music. Leopold Godowsky III proves to be a considerate and virtuoso pianist, insouciant, debonair and dashing if a little smudgy at times, and naturally balanced too, in the Concerto in F.

– ClassicalSource.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Piano in F major by George Gershwin
Performer:  Leopold III Godowsky (Piano)
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1925; USA 
2.
An American in Paris by George Gershwin
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; USA 
3.
Preludes (3) for Piano by George Gershwin
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; USA 
Notes: (Arr. by J. Serebrier for orchestra.) 
4.
Lullaby by George Gershwin
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919; USA 
Notes: (Arr. by J. Serebrier for orchestra.) 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 A great blend of Gershwin  June 11, 2019 By Ronald O. (Medford , OR) See All My Reviews "Very uncompressed,soft is soft,and loud is loud.It's a great replacement for my 30 year old Gershwin recording." Report Abuse
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