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Gershwin: Complete Music for Piano & Orchestra / McDermott, Brown


Release Date: 04/08/2008 
Label:  Bridge   Catalog #: 9252   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  George Gershwin
Performer:  Anne-Marie McDermott
Conductor:  Justin Brown
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



Four fine Gershwin performances, each at or near the top of the class

I feared the worst having seen the soloist’s photograph in the booklet before listening to the disc. The photogenic Ms McDermott is pictured standing beside a grand piano clutching her pet dog. A cute little creature, to be sure, but an image that says “cruise ship pianist”. How wrong I was.

It’s rare enough to have all four Gershwin works for piano and orchestra on a single disc but rarer still for each one to come near or top of the class. First, and unusually enough, McDermott and her (British) conductor do Gershwin the courtesy of playing all the scores uncut and
Read more observing his dynamics and performance instructions to the letter. Typical of their meticulous attention to detail is the first bar of the coda (allegro con brio) in the Concerto’s first movement, almost always played forte but marked (and rendered here) piano by the orchestra, mp by the soloist, allowing a crescendo over the following eight bars. A small point, maybe, but it is what the composer asked for and is all the more effective.

Such preparation would mean little, though, if the performances did not fly off the page with verve and confidence, rhythmic precision and real style. The slow movement of the Concerto in particular is wonderfully characterised, all smokey blues with decadent solos from the muted first trumpet. The Dallas strings lend a Hollywood swoon to the big tunes in the famous Rhapsody and the Concerto while the remaining two pieces are more coherent and convincing than in the hands of some far more famous names. Strongly recommended.

-- Jeremy Nicholas, Gramophone [10/2008]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin
Performer:  Anne-Marie McDermott (Piano)
Conductor:  Justin Brown
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; USA 
2.
Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra no 2 "Rhapsody in Rivets" by George Gershwin
Performer:  Anne-Marie McDermott (Piano)
Conductor:  Justin Brown
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1931; USA 
3.
Variations on "I got rhythm" for Piano and Orchestra by George Gershwin
Performer:  Anne-Marie McDermott (Piano)
Conductor:  Justin Brown
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1934; USA 
4.
Concerto for Piano in F major by George Gershwin
Performer:  Anne-Marie McDermott (Piano)
Conductor:  Justin Brown
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1925; USA 

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