Have you ever heard the clarinet glissando of "Rhapsody in Blue" ....

by Albert Haim

.... played at the piano by George Gershwin himself? Well, here it is.


and here is part 2.


There is an error in the youtube video for part 2. The correct number is Duo-Art 68787.

Images of the rolls: [linked image]

An excellent article about the piano rolls inhttp://www.richard-dowling.com/GershwinRollsNotes

"Rhapsody in Blue was premiered in February 1924 at Aeolian Hall in New York and repeated soon afterward at Carnegie Hall in April 1924 due to the stunning impact it had at its debut. A nationwide concert tour of the work immediately followed, as did a disc recording with the Whiteman Orchestra at the Victor Talking Machine Company’s (RCA) studio in New Jersey in June 1924. After a four-year hiatus in roll-making, Gershwin returned to the Aeolian Company in early 1925 to make a piano roll of the Rhapsody. Because of the length of the work (and perhaps its marketing value?), editors decided to issue the roll in two parts. Part 2 was issued first in May 1925 and begins with the famous Andantino moderato theme (occurring about two-thirds of the way through the piece) and runs to the end. It is very likely that Gershwin “recorded” both parts at the same time during his early 1925 visit. Part 1 however was not released until January 1927. The problems of length forced the editors to slow down the roll speed of Part 1 to avoid having too large a roll of paper. Unfortunately, this shortening also reduced the amount of paper space available for coded expression holes and contributed to a rather unmusical portrayal of Gershwin’s performance. Part 2 represented a smaller portion of music and was able to run at a faster paper speed which allowed more coded expression information. Consequently, that section is more representative of his playing."


Posted on Sep 5, 2015, 7:45 AM

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