Rhapsody In Blue (2 Piano Version)

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They asked me to write an overture for six instruments for them and gave me a notebook of Jewish melodies. The notebook, however, remained with me, and one evening I chose a couple of nice melodies from it and began to improvise on them on the piano.


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I soon noticed that several well-knit passages were emerging. I spent the next day working on the themes, and by evening I had the overture ready. The truth, as it often does, probably lies somewhere in between the two accounts. Originally written as a commission for Oscar Levant. When Levant declined the finished work, Schoenberg dedicated the concerto to one of his students, Henry Clay Shriver.

Arnold Schoenberg did not generally provide comments or explanations for his music; he preferred to let his compositions speak for themselves. The Piano Concerto stands out as a notable exception.

Rhapsody in Blue (Gershwin, George) - IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library: Free Public Domain Sheet Music

In , pianist, film composer, and actor-comedian Oscar Levant studied composition with Schoenberg in Los Angeles. Schoenberg later asked one of his former students, Eduard Steuermann, to give the premiere.


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He has no papers identifying who he is, and even more mysteriously, he will not speak to anyone. These memories, in the play, are represented by music; the great internal orchestra of their inner lives. Sometimes memory can be a difficult thing to express in words. The Stranger at the center of this play cannot speak, and the music allows us to understand the emotions of his experience and his tragedy.

So I do know the feeling of estrangement when you are in a new cultural setting, to feel as though you have no voice, no way to be understood because there simply is no context for who you are. My grandparents fled to India from Bangladesh in when our independence from the British severed one land into three. And it's still the Rhapsody in Blue. Grofe's other settings of the piece include those done for Whiteman's film, King of Jazz , and the concert band setting playable without piano completed by 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'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. In , the 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 in , winning 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 score , and 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 scale , which includes lowered sevenths and a mixture of major and minor thirds.

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Each theme appears 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 notes , and the exploration of their half-step relationship plays a key role in the rhapsody. Gershwin incorporated several different piano styles into the work.

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He utilized the techniques of stride piano , novelty piano , comic 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 Durante , are 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 from the film Fantasia , in which the piece is used as the lyrical framing for a stylized animation set drawn in the style of famed illustrator Al Hirschfeld.

Brian Wilson , leader of The Beach Boys , has said on multiple 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. It was also a heavy influence on his Smile album. He also came to think of " Good Vibrations " as "a smaller, psychedelic version of Rhapsody in Blue ". Rhapsody in Blue was played simultaneously by 84 pianists at the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Rhapsody in Blue inspired a collaboration between blind savant British pianist Derek Paravicini and composer Matthew King on a new concerto, called Blue premiered at the South Bank Centre in London in On September 22, , it was announced that a musicological critical edition of the full orchestral score will be eventually released.

The Gershwin family, working in conjunction with the Library of Congress and the University of Michigan , are working to make these scores available to the public.

Rhapsody In Blue 2 pianos

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Rhapsody in Blue disambiguation. Cigar Aficionado. Archived from the original on January 17, Retrieved January 24, The Washington Post. Retrieved August 30, Archived from the original on February 23, The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 7, Retrieved February 17, January 27, Greenfield NH Recorder.

Acoustical Society of America.

Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue

Archived from the original on April 25, Retrieved April 28, Animation World Magazine. Archived from the original on October 13, Culture Monster. Los Angeles Times.

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Ashcroft , 01 U. BBC News. September 28, Ann Arbor, Michigan: Michigan Radio. October 21, The Gershwin Initiative. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan. Archived from the original on September 5, Musicology Now.