Author Topic: Gershwin's Galligaskins  (Read 15724 times)

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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Gershwin's Galligaskins
« Reply #100 on: February 28, 2017, 04:33:13 AM »
I've probably shared this before . . . in the rather-too-much-like-fanzine-writing bio I am presently reading, the author reports that this is the first song Gershwin published, in 1916.  So I think it means something, that the composer "owned" it sufficiently to make a piano roll of it later.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/GqL_Yn3FqWo" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/GqL_Yn3FqWo</a>
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline The new erato

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Re: Gershwin's Galligaskins
« Reply #101 on: February 28, 2017, 05:13:34 AM »
100% agree. My favorite Gershwin CD ever, one of my favorite anything CDs ever.
Very fine indeed, but I tend to think that GG deserves to be heard in complete muscals, hence my preference for the Nonesuch series.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Gershwin's Galligaskins
« Reply #102 on: February 28, 2017, 05:55:40 AM »
In his Omnibus show on The American Musical Comedy, Lenny concludes with a comparison between the climactic scenes in The Mikado and Of Thee I Sing, respectively, to underscore the sophistication in (and/or benefit drawn from earlier examples by) the latter.  And lo! this morning I learn that Of Thee I Sing was the first musical to win a Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline San Antone

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Re: Gershwin's Galligaskins
« Reply #103 on: February 28, 2017, 06:25:03 AM »
Very fine indeed, but I tend to think that GG deserves to be heard in complete muscals, hence my preference for the Nonesuch series.

Except that Rhapsody in Blue did not originate in a musical, and the jazz band original is much better, imo, than the orchestral arrangement.  However, I do completely agree with you about the Nonesuch series.  Having the complete musicals gives a true version of the works a/o/t hearing just the hit songs or highlights.  But, none of his musicals come close to Porgy & Bess, which I consider 'The Great American Opera'.

Gershwin's death at 38 is a tragic loss since he was just hitting his stride with more serious works when his life was cut short.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Gershwin's Galligaskins
« Reply #104 on: February 28, 2017, 10:23:54 AM »

Thread duty:

The best Rhapsody in Blue for my money is this one done with the original jazz band version by Ferde Grofe, and very well done, too.

Gershwin By Grofe: Original Orchestrations & Arrangements



100% agree. My favorite Gershwin CD ever, one of my favorite anything CDs ever.

Okay, okay! I yield! I have placed my order.

8)
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Gershwin's Galligaskins
« Reply #105 on: February 28, 2017, 10:33:42 AM »
I should say that, years ago (now) I had became firmly jaded against the Rhapsody in Blue.  I could not with any hope of accuracy report why.  Furthermore, while as a general thing my feeling was that, if I never heard the piece again, that would be just fine by me—nevertheless, I really enjoyed its use in the soundtrack of Woody Allen's Manhattan.  Enjoyed it without snickering, genuine, pure enjoyment.  But otherwise, instant channel-switch.

The recording which snapped me out of it, and which remains one of the my favorite versions of the piece, is Marcus Roberts' jazz combo version:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Xrs135MAvJc" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/Xrs135MAvJc</a>

And, of course (because I am an unreconstructable fan of The Bobs), the Rhapsody in Bob:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/VVVikXKqdTI" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/VVVikXKqdTI</a>
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline San Antone

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Re: Gershwin's Galligaskins
« Reply #106 on: February 28, 2017, 10:57:29 AM »
I should say that, years ago (now) I had became firmly jaded against the Rhapsody in Blue.  The recording which snapped me out of it, and which remains one of the my favorite versions of the piece, is Marcus Roberts' jazz combo version:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Xrs135MAvJc" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/Xrs135MAvJc</a>

That Marcus Roberts version is an amazing arrangment, and recording.  Thanks for the reminder.

Along with the jazz band version I also enjoy the piano roll.  The only version I do not listen to anymore is the orchestral one.

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Re: Gershwin's Galligaskins
« Reply #107 on: March 02, 2017, 12:57:27 AM »
This weekend at the Concertgebouw in Brugge/Bruges: Gershwin + van Immerseel.

http://www.concertgebouw.be/nl/event/detail/2095/Anima_Eterna_Brugge

van Immerseel performes the critical University of Michigan - scores edition. Incl. the new set of car claxons.

Recently, it's come to light that George Gershwin possibly meant different pitches for the taxi horns he indicated in his renowned piece, "An American in Paris." The original score notated a circled A B C and D next to the taxi horn notes, but after some further investigation, photos, and a recording from the original performance from 1929, it seems those were just labels for the horns (i.e., horn A, not the note A). Listening to the recording from 1929, one can discern that the pitches are a lower A, higher D, Ab, and Bb. It provides more dissonance than the A B C D set that has been used by countless orchestras over the decades. Here at LAPR we decided to play around a bit and put together this set with our existing horns. Love that honking A. Whether musical directors decide to keep things the same, or go with this new (old) information is totally up to them, but we wanted to show you what these re-discovered pitches sound like with our taxi horns.

http://www.music.umich.edu/ami/gershwin/?page_id=59

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/8cLMTYYzs6s" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/8cLMTYYzs6s</a>


On the program:

Catfish Row - Suite from Porgy and Bess (1936)


Rhapsody in Blue (1924)



An American in Paris (1928)


Four Songs
- The man I love (1924 - 27)
- I got Rhythm (1930)
- My Man's Gone Now (1935)
- By Strauss (1936)

Performers:

Jos Van Immerseel
Anima Eterna Brugge:
Claron McFadden: sopraan
Bart Van Caenegem: piano Steinway & Sons, 1908


Offline Christo

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Re: Gershwin's Galligaskins
« Reply #108 on: March 10, 2017, 01:55:51 AM »
I remember reading a story about Gershwin and George Antheil roaming through Paris in a search for diffently tuned taxi horns.
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Gershwin's Galligaskins
« Reply #109 on: March 10, 2017, 03:08:16 AM »
I remember reading a story about Gershwin and George Antheil roaming through Paris in a search for diffently tuned taxi horns.

That's one example of why I resent this "kiddie bio" of Gershwin. Repeated mention of shopping for taxi horns, no hint of Antheil.

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Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Maestro267

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Re: Gershwin's Galligaskins
« Reply #110 on: March 12, 2017, 06:23:28 AM »
I've only recently realised how much of Rhapsody in Blue is taken up with extended piano cadenzi. Several times, the orchestra goes a good 3-4 minutes without playing a single note. And this is only a 16-minute piece.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Gershwin's Galligaskins
« Reply #111 on: March 12, 2017, 08:34:13 AM »
The flip side is, now you see how readily it lends itself to a piano solo adaptation  8)

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Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Maestro267

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Re: Gershwin's Galligaskins
« Reply #112 on: March 12, 2017, 10:36:19 AM »
The flip side is, now you see how readily it lends itself to a piano solo adaptation  8)

Yep. I believe Gershwin arranged it himself for both solo piano and two pianos.

Offline NikF

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Re: Gershwin's Galligaskins
« Reply #113 on: December 20, 2018, 04:55:41 PM »
Wasn't going to mention, but on Sunday the 16th last month in an Edinburgh pub I sat in and (as usual) played the changes - I Got Rhythm/Gershwin - but this time because oor Karl knows where it's at. It might have sounded like I was wearing my boxing gloves but hell, I was sincere.
"You overestimate my power of attraction," he told her. "No, I don't," she replied sharply, "and neither do you".

Offline San Antone

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Re: Gershwin's Galligaskins
« Reply #114 on: Today at 02:24:35 AM »
*** bump ***

I found this quote in the new biography of Gershwin I just finished reading:

A spoken memorial broadcast from Los Angeles the day after George died included this tribute from Arnold Schoenberg: "Music to him was the air he breathed, the food which nourished him, the drink that refreshed him. Music was what made him feel, and music was the feeling he expressed. Directness of this kind is given only to great men, and there is no doubt that he was a great composer. What he achieved was not only to the benefit of a national American music but also a contribution to the music of the whole world.”

— Summertime: George Gershwin's Life in Music by Richard Crawford

Offline San Antone

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Re: Gershwin's Galligaskins
« Reply #115 on: Today at 07:38:32 AM »
Gershwin spent the last year, or more, of his life in Hollywood providing songs for three movies, Shall We Dance, Damsel in Distress and Delicious.  Throughout this time he referred to a string quartet he had "written" but not notated, i.e. having it complete in his mind.  Unfortunately his brain tumor and death happened so rapidly that he was unable to commit the work to paper in any fashion.  During the last weeks of his life friends and family commented on the change that occurred, "the life went out of his eyes," "his pallor was sickly and gray," "the only time he ever declined to play the piano," etc.

He also stated that he found the entire experience of writing for the movies so tiresome and unrewarding, and by then he had already decided to avoid more Broadway shows, he planned to devote the rest of his life to more serious musical pursuits.  The string quartet was just one of those ideas, he planned on writing more orchestral works and opera.

One can only guess at what possible masterpieces never materialized because of his death at 38.