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Gershwin: Rhapsody In Blue, American In Paris, Etc / Chailly


Release Date: 12/09/2008 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 417326   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  George Gershwin
Performer:  Katia LabèqueMarielle Labèque
Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

The selling-point of this record will presumably be the glamour of the Labeque sisters. But for me the highlight (in terms of composition as well as performance) is not Rhapsody in Blue but An American in Paris. I played this alongside the 1971 LSO/Previn LP recording (EMI EG290849-1, 7/86), a long-established favourite. In their controlled extroversion Previn and Chailly are broadly comparable, but the Clevelanders have a trump card in their gloriously ripe trumpet solo. The percussion, too, are a fraction more stylish and the brightly-lit recording captures their contributions with startling clarity.

The swing of the Cleveland Orchestra's rhythm is as idiomatic as the constraints of synchronization allow. It certainly feels
Read more more natural than the Labeques' in Rhapsody in Blue. Admittedly their rubato has become slightly less blatant than it was in their two-piano 'solo' recording (Philips 9500 917, 6/81; CD 400 022-2PH, 3/86); but it still misses the languour and loose-jointed ease of the real thing. Like the mechanical nightingale in Hans Christian Andersen, the attraction of the synthetic substitute is short-lived.

Taking their cue from the composer's recording, the Labeque sisters have added various ''additional decorations.... that would no doubt have delighted the composer''. I prefer to think that the performances of the comparatively unfamiliar Lullaby (which really cries out for lyrics), the Cuban Overture (full of panache) and An American in Paris, would have delighted him more. The recording gives as thrilling an impression of an orchestra as I recall hearing through my speakers.'

-- Gramophone [2/1987]
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Works on This Recording

1.
An American in Paris by George Gershwin
Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; USA 
2.
Cuban Overture by George Gershwin
Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932; USA 
3.
Lullaby by George Gershwin
Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919; USA 
4.
Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin
Performer:  Katia Labèque (Piano), Marielle Labèque (Piano)
Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; USA 
Notes: Arranged: Katia & Marielle Labèque 

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