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* - galaxy

strike up the band

Posted on 2005.09.14 at 11:00
I have been on a quest to find the perfect rendition of George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. There are so many bad interpretations: some jazz, some symphonic. I think both camps fail to understand what the man was up to. His head wasn't in ragtime or dixieland, and it wasn't in classical. He was marrying the two. And even some who know this don't seem to play it with the body, invention, excitement, and nobility that Gershwin intended. The dude's head wasn't in the 20s or 30s - it was in the 50s! He and Ira were greatly influencial in creating the 50s arts culture, I feel. That synthesis, (and WWII), also fed into to the 50s conservative racial backlash, and (oppositely) the whole Yippie/Hippie thing. The arrival of the Beatles really harkened back to the spirit of the Gershwins.

I need to keep notes on the renditions I hear - because I'm always forgetting things. I just heard (again) Michael Tilson Thomas' 1990 version with the L.A. Philharmonic / Ensemble - and it really is pretty good. It is very creative and alive. One gets a feel of being in the 20s - but not patronisingly so - and still the majesty of a Ravel-like classical orchestra is preserved. I think it is not surpising that the version comes out of L.A. rather than NY, because L.A. was so key to the whole 50s thing, even though the first performance of R.I.B. was in NY.


A note to Desiree - I think it was Gershwin's Concero in F. - I'll have to hear it again to be certain.

Comments:


deluxx at 2005-09-14 16:51 (UTC) (Lien)
I really like the Rhapsody in Blue version that was in the latest version of Fantasia. I don't know if you saw that movie or not, but it's in the New York City sequence. Check it out if you haven't yet. I'm sure it would be on the soundtrack. :D

And on a barely related note, I find a few faults with the way "You Can't Get a Man with a Gun" from Annie, Get Your Gun! was written. The lyrics are fine, but the the music doesn't seem to match it at times. Or maybe it's just me. Oh well, I suppose Irving knew what he was doing.
where hypotheses come to die
madman101 at 2005-09-14 21:47 (UTC) (Lien)

american mx

He must have - Irving was a genius.

"Annie, Get Your Gun!" was a GREAT song by Squeeze! Really contageous.

Thanx about Fantasia - I only saw the old one. I think - or maybe just portions. I need to see the newer one all the way through. I'm sure RIB on that is great.
Desiree
sugarplanet at 2005-09-14 17:46 (UTC) (Lien)
I think I've heard that one before...and Rhapsody in Blue. gershwin is rather brilliant.
where hypotheses come to die
madman101 at 2005-09-14 21:50 (UTC) (Lien)

G's C in F

You mean you heard C in F - ?

Yes he is. A treasure. Also did a lot of pop-y song w/ Iri.
A Wannabe Drug Addict
iamabraxas at 2005-09-14 23:31 (UTC) (Lien)
Gershwin=LIFE!
where hypotheses come to die
madman101 at 2005-09-15 00:06 (UTC) (Lien)

yes!

so true!

I just logged in - and noticed that I have "George Gershwin" listed as one of my other computer ("Kafka") personal settings.

The other 4:
Brendan
Brendan's Evil Twin
Zigfried
Spawn

I just thought I should share that w/ somebody.
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