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I bought the original and adapted this version to increase the richness of the adaptation. Good beginning point but not This version of Phapsody In Blue is wonderful. I was away from the piano for 54 yrs, have been playing again for 9 months and never imagined I'd be able to play at this level again. The arrangement is good and I recommend it for any intermediate player. I can play it but I don't know if I consider myself a late intermediate more like intermediate. This site uses cookies to analyze your use of our products, to assist with promotional and marketing efforts, to analyze our traffic and to provide content from third parties.

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Rhapsody In Blue Theme Sheet Music by George Gershwin (SKU: PS) - Stanton's Sheet Music

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Orchestre de Paris, Daniel Barenboim. Luigi Boccherini - Johann Sebastian Bach - Suite for Cello Solo No. The piece received its premiere in the concert, An Experiment in Modern Music , which was held on February 12, , in Aeolian Hall , New York, by Whiteman and his band with Gershwin playing the piano. The editors of the Cambridge Music Handbooks opined that "The Rhapsody in Blue established Gershwin's reputation as a serious composer and has since become one of the most popular of all American concert works. After the success of an experimental classical-jazz concert held with French-Canadian singer Eva Gauthier at Aeolian Hall New York on November 1, , band leader Paul Whiteman decided to attempt something more ambitious.

Whiteman became interested in featuring such an extended composition by Gershwin in the concert after he had collaborated with Gershwin in the Scandals of , impressed by the original performance of the one-act opera Blue Monday , which was nevertheless a commercial failure.

Gershwin declined on the grounds that, as there would certainly be need for revisions to the score, he would not have enough time to compose the new piece. In a phone call to Whiteman next morning, Gershwin was told that Whiteman's rival Vincent Lopez was planning to steal the idea of his experimental concert and there was no time to lose. Since there were only five weeks left, Gershwin hastily set about composing a piece, and on the train journey to Boston , the ideas of Rhapsody in Blue came to his mind.


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He told his first biographer Isaac Goldberg in No new themes came to me, but I worked on the thematic material already in my mind and tried to conceive the composition as a whole. I heard it as a sort of musical kaleidoscope of America, of our vast melting pot, of our unduplicated national pep, of our metropolitan madness. By the time I reached Boston I had a definite plot of the piece, as distinguished from its actual substance.

Gershwin began his work on January 7 as dated on the original manuscript for two pianos. The purpose of the experiment, as told by Whiteman in a pre-concert lecture in front of many classical music critics and highbrows, was "to be purely educational". It would "at least provide a stepping stone which will make it very simple for the masses to understand, and therefore, enjoy symphony and opera". The program was long, including 26 separate musical movements, divided into 2 parts and 11 sections, bearing titles such as "True form of jazz" and "Contrast: Gershwin's latest composition was the second to last piece before Elgar 's Pomp and Circumstance March No.

People in the audience were losing their patience, until the clarinet glissando that opened Rhapsody in Blue was heard. The Rhapsody was performed by Whiteman's band, with an added section of string players, and George Gershwin on piano. Gershwin improvised some of what he was playing, and he did not write out the piano part until after the performance, so it is unknown exactly how the original Rhapsody sounded. The opening clarinet glissando came into being during rehearsal when; " Reacting favourably to Gorman's whimsy, Gershwin asked him to perform the opening measure that way at the concert and to add as much of a 'wail' as possible.

By the end of , Whiteman's band had played the Rhapsody eighty-four times, and its recording sold a million copies. Whiteman later adopted the piece as his band's theme song, and opened his radio programs with the slogan "Everything new but the Rhapsody in Blue. The piece received mixed reviews from mainstream critics. This composition shows extraordinary talent, as it shows a young composer with aims that go far beyond those of his ilk, struggling with a form of which he is far from being master In spite of all this, he has expressed himself in a significant and, on the whole, highly original form The second theme is more after the manner of some of Mr.

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Tuttis are too long, cadenzas are too long, the peroration at the end loses a large measure of the wildness and magnificence it could easily have had if it were more broadly prepared, and, for all that, the audience was stirred and many a hardened concertgoer excited with the sensation of a new talent finding its voice There was tumultuous applause for Gershwin's composition. How trite, feeble and conventional the tunes are; how sentimental and vapid the harmonic treatment, under its disguise of fussy and futile counterpoint!

Weep over the lifelessness of the melody and harmony, so derivative, so stale, so inexpressive! Some critics described the piece as formless, and claimed that Gershwin only glued his melodic segments together into one piece. Pitts Sanborn wrote that the music "runs off into empty passage-work and meaningless repetition". The Rhapsody is not a composition at all.

Rhapsody In Blue Theme

It's a string of separate paragraphs stuck together. The themes are terrific, inspired, God-given. I don't think there has been such an inspired melodist on this earth since Tchaikovsky. But if you want to speak of a composer, that's another matter. Your Rhapsody in Blue is not a real composition in the sense that whatever happens in it must seem inevitable.


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  • Bernstein quoting himself in what he regards to be Beethoven's specialty—his inevitability—from his "Why Beethoven". You can cut parts of it without affecting the whole. You can remove any of these stuck-together sections and the piece still goes on as bravely as before.