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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000666.txt from 1997/09

From: Bill Hausmann <>
Subj: Re: Rhapsody in Blue
Date: Fri, 12 Sep 1997 22:47:48 -0400

At 09:42 AM 9/12/97 -0500, Roger Garrett wrote:
>I'm not sure if Ed is referring to the Piano Roll version that came out on
>CD with Gershwin's tempos, etc. on the roll (he created the roll) - but if
>you are unaware of it, it is a wonderful CD to own. The only thing
>missing is that there is no pedaling of any kind - the piano rolls were
>unable to control pedals.

The Gershwin piano roll version of Rhapsody in Blue was done on a Duo-Art
Reproducing Piano, which did have some dynamic capability and I believe
damper pedal control as well, or at least the ability to hold notes almost
indefinitely, which is ALMOST the same thing. Have you heard the recording
by Michael Tilson Thomas on Columbia in which all of the accompaniment
notes were covered up on the piano roll, leaving only the solo part, and
the ORIGINAL scoring was played to match it?

>Another excellent recording is the Oscar Levant version that is now
>available on CD......he was a personal friend of Gershwin's, and, not
>suprisingly, the tempos on the Piano Roll version and the tempos on
>Levant's version are remarkably similar.

My folks had that one when I was a kid, and I have a copy now. Very good
indeed, but the best I have ever heard was a version on 78 rpm records done
by Alec Templeton, who, incidentally, was blind! The LP version of the
Levant version was extremely restricted in dynamic range, since they also
squeezed An American in Paris AND the Concerto in F on that one disk. Have
they fixed that? If so, I may need a new copy!

Ed Lacy wrote:

...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 Templeton version took up three 12" sides. The Gershwin version was
cut to fit onto two sides (one record). Some ugly and decidedly abnormal
cuts were made to accomplish this.

Bill Hausmann
451 Old Orchard Drive
Essexville, MI 48732

If you have to mic a saxophone, the rest of the band is too loud.

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