Saturday, March 2, 2013

Rhapsody in Blue

One of the most widely performed works for piano and instrumental ensemble is Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin (1898–1927). Written in 1924 and premiered on February 12 of that year by the Paul Whiteman orchestra with Gershwin on piano, the work was orchestrated by the fa-mous arranger Ferde Grofé. The original orchestration was scored for Whiteman’s 24-piece band plus violins, and was later orchestrated by Grofé for larger ensembles. In 1928 Grofé scored it for concert band but the published version required substantial editing and contained many errors and re-harmonization not true to the original version. Thomas Ver- rier (then with the California State University system, now at Vanderbilt University), set this accompaniment, constructing it from authentic original resources, archived materials and manuscripts. (Source: JRO)