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Energetic Happy Hypnotic. Romantic Sad Sentimental. Sexy Trippy All Moods. Drinking Hanging Out In Love. Pitts Sanborn wrote that the music "runs off into empty passage-work and meaningless repetition". Rhapsody in Blue is not a real composition in the sense that whatever happens in it must seem inevitable, or even pretty inevitable. You can cut out parts of it without affecting the whole in any way except to make it shorter.
You can remove any of these stuck-together sections and the piece still goes on as bravely as before. You can even interchange these sections with one another and no harm done. You can make cuts within a section, or add new cadenzas, or play it with any combination of instruments or on the piano alone; it can be a five-minute piece or a six-minute piece or a twelve-minute piece.
And in fact all these things are being done to it every day. It's still the Rhapsody in Blue. Constant Lambert described it thus:. Grofe's other settings of the piece include those done for Whiteman's film, King of Jazzand the concert band setting playable without piano completed by and published The prominence of the saxophones in the later orchestrations is somewhat reduced, and the banjo part can be dispensed with, as its mainly rhythmic contribution is provided by the inner strings.
Gershwin also made versions of the piece for solo piano as well as two pianos. The solo version is notable for omitting several sections of the piece. Gershwin's intent to eventually do an orchestration of his own is documented in —37 correspondence from publisher Harms "reissuance of The Rhapsody in Blue re-scored by yourself for large symphony orchestra".
The latter version was actually conducted by Nathaniel Shilkret after an argument between Gershwin and Whiteman. Since the midth century, the version has usually been performed by classical orchestras playing the expanded arrangement. In this form, it has become a staple of the concert repertoire. It has direct popular appeal while also being regarded respectfully by classical musicians.
The flip side was Joseph Kuhn's Symphony for Blues. The album cover is a nighttime photo of the Chrysler Building and its surroundings with a blue hue. Inthe piece was recorded by jazz-rock artist Eumir Deodato on his album Deodato 2. The single reached Billboard peak positions number 41 Pop, number 10 Easy Listening. A disco arrangement was recorded by French pianist Richard Clayderman in and is one of his signature pieces.
In the late s, interest in the original arrangement was revived. On February 14,it received its first performance since the s: Kenneth Kiesler secured needed permissions and led with work with pianist Paul Verrette on his University of New Hampshire campus. Michel Camilo recorded the piece inwinning a Latin Grammy award.
Paul Whiteman asked Gershwin to write a "jazz concerto", which became the Rhapsody in Blue ; like a concerto, the piece is written for solo piano with orchestra: a rhapsody differs from a concerto in that it features one extended movement instead of separate movements.
Rhapsodies often incorporate passages of an improvisatory nature although written out in a scoreand are irregular in form, with heightened contrasts and emotional exuberance; Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue is typical in that it certainly has large contrasts in musical texture, style, and color.
The music ranges from intensely rhythmic piano solos to slow, broad, and richly orchestrated sections. The opening of Rhapsody in Blue is written as a clarinet trill followed by a legato, 17 notes in a diatonic scale. During a rehearsal, Whiteman's virtuoso clarinetist, Ross Gorman, rendered the upper portion of the scale as a captivating and fully trombone-like glissando : Gershwin heard it and insisted that it be repeated in the performance.
This effect has now become standard performance practice for the work. Rhapsody in Blue displays both rhythmic invention and melodic inspiration, and demonstrates Gershwin's ability to write a piece with large-scale harmonic and melodic structure. The piece is characterized by strong motivic interrelatedness. Much of the motivic material is introduced in the first 14 measures.
David Schiff identifies five major themes plus a sixth "tag". Two of the remaining three themes are rhythmically related to the very first theme in measure 2, which is sometimes called the Glissando theme after the opening glissando in the clarinet solo or the Ritornello theme.
The remaining theme is the Train theme, which is the first to appear at rehearsal 9 after the opening material. All of the themes rely on the blues scalewhich includes lowered sevenths and a mixture of major and minor thirds. Each theme On My Mind The Whole Night Long - Gershwin* - Plays Gershwin - The Piano Rolls (CD) both in orchestrated form and as a piano solo.
There are considerable differences in the style of presentation of each theme. The harmonic structure of the rhapsody is more difficult to analyze.
Modulation through the circle of fifths in the reverse direction inverts classical tonal relationships, but does not abandon them. The entire middle section resides primarily in C major, with forays into G major the dominant relation. Modulations occur freely and easily, though not always with harmonic direction. Gershwin frequently uses a recursive harmonic progression of minor thirds to give the illusion of motion when in fact a passage does not change key from beginning to end.
Modulation by thirds was a common element of Tin Pan Alley music. The influences of jazz and other contemporary styles are certainly present in Rhapsody in Blue. Ragtime rhythms are abundant, as is the Cuban " clave " rhythm, which doubles as a dance rhythm in the Charleston jazz dance. Gershwin's own intentions were to correct the belief that jazz had to be played strictly in time so that one could dance to it.
The clearest influence of jazz is the use of blue notesand the exploration of their half-step relationship plays a key role in the rhapsody. Gershwin incorporated several different piano styles into the work. He utilized the techniques of stride pianonovelty pianocomic piano, and the song-plugger piano style. Stride piano's rhythmic and improvisational style is evident in the "agitato e misterioso" section, which begins four bars after rehearsal 33, as well as in other sections, many of which include the orchestra.
Novelty piano can be heard at rehearsal 9 with the revelation of the Train theme. The hesitations and light-hearted style of comic piano, a vaudeville approach to piano made well known by Chico Marx and Jimmy Duranteare evident at rehearsal Rhapsody in Blue has been interpreted as a musical portrait of New York City; it is used in this context in a segment in the Walt Disney Pictures animated film Fantasiain which the piece is used as the lyrical framing for a stylized animation set drawn in the style of famed illustrator Al Hirschfeld.
Brian Wilsonleader of The Beach Boyshas said on several occasions that Rhapsody in Blue is one of his favorite pieces. He first heard it when he was two years old, and recalls that he "loved" it. According to biographer Peter Ames Carlinit was an influence on his Smile album.
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