The Fascinating GEORGE GERSHWIN – Transcriptions for violin, piano & ensemble – Pentatone

by | Jul 13, 2005 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

The Fascinating GEORGE GERSHWIN –  An American in Paris;
Three Preludes; Rhapsody in Blue, Fantasy in Seven Colors, Fascinating
Rhythm; I got rhythm; Clap yo’ hands; Lullaby; Triple Tribute; Someone
to watch over me; Embraceable you, Love is here to stay – Vesko
Eschkenazy, violin/Ludmil Angelov, piano & friends (Arr. by Bob
Zimmerman) – Pentatone multichannel SACD PTC 5186 021, 72:33 ****:

The first time I ever heard the Rhapsody in Blue was out of the horn of
an Edison “Re-creation” acoustic disc phonograph and a thick disc by
The Edisonions, evidently about the same size chamber ensemble as this
aggregation – five to seven players.  It was a disc and player
left over from the music store my father had operated, so as a child I
found fascinating George Gershwin  by myself.  The producer
of this SACD has arranged a similar sort of treatment of the Rhapsody
along with three other classical-oriented Gershwin works plus a
sampling of some of his great popular songs.  But arranging has
become more sophisticated since the 1920s, and this Rhapsody is quite a
different animal than the earlier one, besides being in glorious sound
sound.

Both the Rhapsody and An American in Paris are Readers’ Digest versions
of the originals; in fact the latter is only five minutes length. The
two titles that would appear to be newly-discovered Gershwin works –
Triple Tribute and Fantasy in Seven Colors – are really medleys
arranged by Zimmerman and featuring three songs in the first instance
and seven in the second.  The Three Preludes for piano solo, which
have been previously transcribed only for violin and piano, now become
delightful little chamber miniatures. The other instruments include a
second violin, viola, cello, clarinet and percussion.  The two
leads are Bulgarian.  Recorded in the Netherlands, this ensemble
is another example of the skilled and serious expertise brought by
Dutch musicians to bear on updated views of a variety of music that is
not usually regarded as strictly classical.

– John Sunier
 

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