Sunday, February 5, 2012
A Record a Week - George Gershwin - Rhapsody in Blue/An American in Paris
RHAPSODY IN BLUE
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS
Gershwin was one of several composers who died at an early age (38). These two songs are his most notable compositions, Rhapsody in Blue being his first release, An American in Paris coming later. His main source of income, however, was recording the rolls for player pianos.
The first thing I thought of when I turned on this record was that it was very theatrical. The type of classical composition that really lends itself to film or stage (some research tells me that pieces of Rhapsody were arranged for West Side Story). The writing is diverse, heavy with jazz, classical, broadway and doses of other styles as well. When it comes to classical records, I enjoy ones that bring to mind a certain setting or scenery and I feel this record did just that.