Recorded on 10/05/2011, uploaded on 03/27/2012
Musician's or Publisher's Notes
Gershwin's famous Rhapsody in Blue was written in 1924 in a mere five weeks, on a short-notice commission for Paul Whiteman and his band. As Gershwin told his biographer in 1931:
"It was on the train, with its steely rhythms, its rattle-ty bang, that is so often so stimulating to a composer – I frequently hear music in the very heart of the noise... And there I suddenly heard, and even saw on paper – the complete construction of the Rhapsody, from beginning to end. 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."
The work became an instant success and over the last century it has continued to serve as a symbol of American culture. Igor Lovchinsky
Courtesy of International Music Foundation.
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