Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue; Promenade; Catfish Row / Orion Weiss, piano; John Fullam, clarinet

Album Summary

>Gershwin, George : Strike Up the Band
>Gershwin, George : Rhapsody in Blue
>Gershwin, George : Walking the Dog, promenade for piano or orchestra (arrangement from film "Shall We Dance")
>Gershwin, George : Porgy and Bess
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

George Gershwin fired up the New York music scene with his mélange of alluring tunes and refinement of the jazz vibe. His Strike up the Band Overture opened a flashy Broadway hit and, inspired by a train ride, the composer heard his masterpiece Rhapsody in Blue as a "musical kaleidoscope of America". Promenade was reconstructed from a 1937 film score. Acclaimed as a "bold, gutsy performance with plenty of pizzazz" and with "impressive brilliance and depth".

BBC Music Magazine, September 2013
The orchestral contribution is lively and idiomatic, with jazzy clarinet and trumpet. The solo playing is clean and clear, but I would also describe it as thoughtful and careful...Recommendable with some reservations, then.

Gramophone Magazine, August 2013
Weiss veers towards the Romantic piano concerto but is faithful to the score - not always the case these days.

American Record Guide, November/December 2013
At Broadway's Aeolian Hall on February 12, 1924, the New York impresario Paul Whiteman presented a jazz concert that included the premiere of Rhapsody in Blue by a 25-year-old George Gershwin, who was also the piano soloist. In the audience was an array of classical luminaries including Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Sousa, Kreisler, Heifitz, Elman, Stokowski, and Mengelberg! Almost 100 years later, it is easily one of the most recognizable musical works in the world. On this second Gershwin disc from Falletta, the Buffalo Philharmonic, and Orion Weiss is a very personal performance of Rhapsody in Blue that completes the works for piano and orchestra.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Kleinhans Music Hall, Buffalo, New York, USA.



Reviews

Nice Gershwin set with a couple of extras
You can never get enough Gershwin and especially when there are a couple of nice surprises thrown into the mix. This new collection with the Buffalo Philharmonic and JoAnn Falletta illustrates the point. The big "war horses" here are the well known "Rhapsody in Blue" and the "'Catfish Row' Suite from "Porgy and Bess" In each case, the Buffalo ensemble plays with verve and a true affinity for Gershwin's unique style of classical-jazz. In the "Rhapsody", soloist Orion Weiss plays with solid and convincing technique and some very nice pacing. There are plenty of places in the "Rhapsody" that can sound frantic and rushed but not if played with a nice, sultry rubato where required; like Weiss does. I never heard of the young Orion Weiss before but he is a major talent; a graduate of Juilliard and student of Emanuel Ax. He has already performed with many of the country's big orchestras including LA, Chicago and San Francisco. I hope a lot of conductors here of this young man; who is well worth booking! "Catfish Row" is played with similar panache and JoAnn Falletta has made her mark with a lot of American music, including Gershwin. I thought the pacing and approach in the sometimes frenetic Fugue was excellent! This really is one of the nicer performances of this staple I have heard. This recording gives us two pleasant "extras". While many have heard the splashy overture to the Gershwin-Kaufman stage satire, "Strike Up the Band", it just isn't heard as often as it should. Certainly it is squarely in Gershwin's Broadway barn and not necessarily concert hall music; it is vastly entertaining and great fun. A similar case can be for the somewhat rare "Promenade", played here in its version for clarinet and orchestra. This little dance along gem actually does come from one set piece to a Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers score for their dance-comedy, "Shall We Dance" Ira Gershwin convinced George to turn the one number "Walk the Dog" into the brief but very cute "Promenade" Clarinetist John Fullam plays this and the imposing opening cadenza to the "Rhapsody" very well! Naxos does another great job bringing us fine performances by orchestras we don't get to hear that often. These performances rate as well as any other versions you can get on other labels and I suggest you give this a listen!
Submitted on 07/22/13 by Dan Coombs 
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Works Details

>Gershwin, George : Strike Up the Band :: Overture
  • Conductor: JoAnn Falletta
  • Ensemble: Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 6 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1927

>Gershwin, George : Rhapsody in Blue
  • Performer: Orion Weiss (Piano)
  • Conductor: JoAnn Falletta
  • Running Time: 18 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1924

>Gershwin, George : Walking the Dog, promenade for piano or orchestra (arrangement from film "Shall We Dance")
  • Performer: John Fullam (Clarinet)
  • Conductor: JoAnn Falletta
  • Running Time: 3 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1937

>Gershwin, George : Porgy and Bess
  • Conductor: JoAnn Falletta
  • Running Time: 24 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: ?/?1935-01/1936