1924 Aeolian Hall Premiere "Rhapsody in Blue" ~ George Gershwin

Rhapsody in Blue~ composed by George Gershwin,
combines elements of classical music with jazz-influenced effects.
One of the best and most diffinitive works of American music.
and one of my absolute favorites. I've collected a number of different
recordings by different artists in different mediums.

Rhapsody in Blue was commissioned by Paul Whiteman for a 12 February 1924 concert entitled "An Experiment in Modern Music," which took place in Aeolian Hall in New York City. The event has since become historic specifically because of its premiere of the Rhapsody in Blue.

Visit New York CityA quote of what Gershwin had to say about RIB :
"It was on the train, with its steely rhythms, its rattly-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 blues, our metropolitan madness. By the time I reached Boston I had a definite plot of the piece, as distinguished from its actual substance." ~ George Gershwin

Listen to George playing Rhapsody in Blue"Rhapsody in Blue" recordings ~
Two audio recordings exist of Gershwin performing the piece with the Whiteman Orchestra,
and a piano roll captured his performance in a piano-solo version. The Paul Whiteman Orchestra
performs the piece in the 1930 film King of Jazz featuring Ferde Grofe on piano.
(I intend to order a copy soon). Since then it has been a favorite of Orchestral performances
as well as a landmark piece for the individual performer
Click on picture to listen to a classic performance
by George Gershwin of 'Rhapsody in Blue'

Here is a link to a great site on the Rhapsody in Blue history and more details ~
Click here for a short biography of Paul Whiteman and other interesting related links.
More basic info and associated links posted on Wikipedia .

Updated 19 Nov, 2006 ~ more versions yet to be added

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