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whiskylion

Well-known member
Now you are talking.....!!!!

Have you ever listened to Andrew Preview's definitive version?

I bought this in 1973 after being told no better recording was in existence. And nearly 50 years on, and having heard countless other versions, i still think this one nails it like no other.

Far too many are rushed jobs (or overstretched, thus losing the inherent rhythm) or fail to get the humour or vitality; or make the most of the pauses. Or even add too much, like the overcooked snares (above) which pollutes the purity of orchestral highlight.

But Preview gets it. Totally gets it...

 
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Kryan Bing

Well-known member
Now you are talking.....!!!!

Have you ever listened to Andrew Preview's definitive version?

I bought this in 1973 after being told no better recording was in existence. And nearly 50 years on, and having heard countless other versions, i still think this one nails it like no other.

Far too many are rushed jobs or fail to get the humour or vitality; or make the most of the pauses.

But Preview gets it. Totally gets it...


Yes, top of the pile for sure. Certainly the Orchestration.
The reason I personally prefer the version I posted is 'Christopher O'Riley's' Piano playing; I think it has more of the original 1920's, New York, Hot Jazz feel about it than Previn's version. Just my minor gripe (or should I say (F) Major). :grinning:

This (brilliant) tune still divides musicians and critics to this day over 'their' preferred version. I suppose, they all bring something different to the table. Bernstein, Previn, and the version my dad was always playing by Oscar Levant...(a close friend of Gershwin).

Gershwin in his own words on how he wrote the piece, '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'.


 

whiskylion

Well-known member
Yes, top of the pile for sure. Certainly the Orchestration.
The reason I personally prefer the version I posted is 'Christopher O'Riley's' Piano playing; I think it has more of the original 1920's, New York, Hot Jazz feel about it than Previn's version. Just my minor gripe (or should I say (F) Major). :grinning:

This (brilliant) tune still divides musicians and critics to this day over 'their' preferred version. I suppose, they all bring something different to the table. Bernstein, Previn, and the version my dad was always playing by Oscar Levant...(a close friend of Gershwin).

Gershwin in his own words on how he wrote the piece, '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'.


That's fascinating, that account by Gershwin. I'm sure I've never read that before.

But there we go, he built the piece upon a rhythm, a train in this instance. Which is what I said, and thought the longer pauses in the first piece disrupts and even curtails that rhythm.

However, I do love the richness of tyour first version and I understand your preference for the slightly more jazzed reading by the pianist; while Preview takes us down a more classical path - which I feel gives it greater gravitas without sacrificing the fun and the spirit of the piece.

I read someone's comments on Youtube, along the lines that this is Art Deco set to music. A brilliant analogy.

But in the end it doesn't much matter which of the two is preferred: both are genius.