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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000642.txt from 1997/09

From: "Edwin V. Lacy" <>
Subj: Re: Rhapsody in Blue
Date: Fri, 12 Sep 1997 17:11:51 -0400

On Fri, 12 Sep 1997, Detlef Kretschmer wrote:

> By the way a little question, is there any reason why the Rhapsody in Blue
> is played nowadays much slower than at the time? Paul Whiteman played the
> full version (there were some cuts for the recorded version in order to fit
> onto two sides of a disc) in about 12 minutes; lately I came across a
> recording which took 23 minutes! This takes away most of the frency (?) of
> the original.

I've heard the re-pressings of the original recording, and while it is a
little faster in some places than we ordinarily hear it today, it isn't
that much faster. There are some possible cuts in the piece which are
often taken to reduce the total time required. I don't know whether cuts
were required or taken in order to make the Whiteman recording fit on the
disk, but this would seem to be the most likely possibility.

The work would have to be considered somewhat repetitious, so the usual
cuts don't eliminate any of the musical ideas, but only second and/or
third repetitions of them. Naturally, some may complain that the basic
symmetry of the work is being compromised, but most people, even those who
know the work rather well, usually aren't disturbed by this.

Ed Lacy
Dr. Edwin Lacy University of Evansville
Professor of Music 1800 Lincoln Avenue
Evansville, IN 47722 (812)479-2754

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