Lorin Maazel's bright and brash performances of Rhapsody in Blue, Cuban Overture, and American in Paris demonstrate his special affinity for the music of George Gershwin. He injects real sass into the Rhapsody, from the deliciously rude clarinet glissando to the infectious honky-tonk beat of the first section. American in Paris struts along with a real Yankee swagger, accented by glittering orchestral colors. Maazel takes the Cuban Overture at a fast clip, whipping up a frenzy and delighting in the music's complex counter-rhythms. Of course, all of this is no problem for the hyper-precise Cleveland Orchestra, whose players sound as if they're having a grand time brandishing their virtuoso facility on this "light" music. Read more
Hungarian Antal Dorati displays impressive sympathy for the American blues idiom in Gershwin's Porgy and Bess Suite. His "It Ain't Necessarily So" is a delightful blend of naughtiness and suavity, while he treats "Bess You is My Woman" as the great aria it is, lavishing it with sensuality and rich sonority from the Detroit strings. The other tunes are no less effective, and Dorati caps it off with a rousing rendition of "Oh Lord I'm on My Way". The recordings are some of Decca's finest: spacious and finely detailed, with wide dynamic range. At Universal's budget price, it doesn't matter if this is your first Gershwin disc or your 15th--you really ought to have it.
--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com Read less
Works on This Recording
Rhapsody in Blueby George Gershwin Conductor:
Period: 20th Century Written: 1924; USA Length: 16 Minutes 55 Secs.
Cuban Overtureby George Gershwin Conductor:
Period: 20th Century Written: 1932; USA Length: 10 Minutes 6 Secs.
An American in Parisby George Gershwin Conductor:
Period: 20th Century Written: 1928; USA Length: 17 Minutes 39 Secs.
Porgy and Bess: A Symphonic Pictureby George Gershwin Conductor:
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century Written: 1935; USA Length: 23 Minutes 54 Secs.