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Classic Library - Gershwin: Rhapsody In Blue, Etc

Release Date: 07/13/2004 
Label:  Rca Victor Red Seal Catalog #: 60862   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  George Gershwin
Performer:  Michael Tilson ThomasGarrick Ohlsson
Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New World SymphonySan Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 9 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Michael Tilson Thomas' long association with the music of George Gershwin results in performances so idiomatic they could be categorized as (almost) definitive. In all three works, Thomas not only reveals Gershwin's compositional genius but also wonderfully captures the composer's trademark playful swagger. This quality comes through strongest in Rhapsody in Blue, here in its original jazz band orchestration with Thomas impressively performing double-duty as pianist and conductor. Even Bernstein's storied (and cut, and mannered) CBS performance can't match the heightened bawdiness of Thomas' reading. The New World Symphony sounds remarkably like the virtuoso big bands of the jazz age.

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In An American in Paris, Thomas' lucid conducting exposes the manifold brilliance of Gershwin's multi-layered orchestration. But most impressive is the Piano Concerto in F, where Garrick Ohlsson's bluesy demeanor and virtuoso fingerwork, along with Thomas' smooth tempos and deft phrasing, confirm the greatness of Gershwin's work--fully the equal of contemporary concertos by Prokofiev or Ravel. The San Francisco Symphony provides powerful and joyfully-executed readings of both pieces, while RCA's high-impact, natural sound makes for an enticing listening experience. In sum, a must-have Gershwin disc.
--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin
Performer:  Michael Tilson Thomas (Piano)
Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New World Symphony
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; USA 
Concerto for Piano in F major by George Gershwin
Performer:  Garrick Ohlsson (Piano)
Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1925; USA 
An American in Paris by George Gershwin
Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; USA 

Sound Samples

Rhapsody in Blue
An American in Paris
Allegro agitato

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