rhapsody in blue - two ways

At the moment I'm revising two of my past essays to submit with my graduate school applications since for musicology, schools would like to see examples of an applicant's writing style and research. For my application, I'm submitting "Bernstein Reshapes the Rhapsody" (covering Leonard Bernstein's relationship with George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, the changes he made to the work, why he made those changes and what this says about Rhapsody's statement about American life) and "The Misunderstood Mahler-Strauss Relationship" (digging away the mystery and examining the true relationship, be it friend, bitter rival or somewhere in-between, that these two composers actually had).

In reading through my Bernstein-Rhapsody paper again, it reminded me of the comparison I centered my paper on : the orchestration/interpretation of the original performances (1924) with Bernstein's version he presented to the world in 1959. However, there is probably no better way to see Bernstein's true ideas for the Rhapsody in Blue as when he has the most control, and that's when I stumbled upon this video of him conducting the piece from the piano, as he plays the solo part himself. I'll juxtapose it with the recording from 1938 at Gershwin's memorial service (first recording of it after Gershwin's death), likely playing the arrangement from 1924. I highly recommend listening to both back to back…its quite a difference.

 Rhapsody in Blue (1924 orchestration)

Roy Bargy (piano), Paul Whiteman and his orchestra

Rhapsody in Blue (1942 orchestration - with Bernstein's cuts)

Leonard Bernstein (piano/conductor), New York Philharmonic, Royal Albert Hall

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