Image for Rhapsody In Blue, and Oh, Kay!

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Rhapsody In Blue, and Oh, Kay!

Duration:
1 hour
First broadcast:
Tuesday 17 May 2011

Gershwin's meteoric progress in the mid 1920s was cemented by the extraordinary and much-loved "Rhapsody In Blue", commissioned by the so-called "King Of Jazz", dance hall bandleader Paul Whiteman. But is it really jazz?

Donald Macleod presents the piece in its rarely-heard original orchestration for jazz band and solo piano, with a solo part performed by none other than George Gershwin himself - reproduced in a pioneering recording through the medium of piano roll.

He also looks at the love of Gershwin's life, the composer and lyricist Kay Swift - and presents two very different arrangements of the Gershwins' hit song "'s Wonderful" by Sarah Vaughan and Andre Previn and David Finck.

Music Played

10 items
Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
  • Image for George Gershwin
    00:00

    George Gershwin Medley of Rhapsody in Blue opening bar

    Performer: George Gershwin (piano, from 1925 piano roll recording), The Columbia Jazz Band, Michael Tilson Thomas (conductor)

    CBS: CD42240, 1

  • Image for George Gershwin
    00:04

    George Gershwin Rhapsody In Blue

    Performer: George Gershwin (piano, from 1925 piano roll recording), The Columbia Jazz Band, Michael Tilson Thomas (conductor)

    CBS:CD42240, 1

  • Image for George Gershwin
    00:21

    George Gershwin Oh Kay! (1926) (Act 1 excerpt)

    Performer: Kay - Dawn Upshaw, The Duke - Robert Westenberg, Larry Potter – Patrick Cassidy, Shorty McGree - Adam Arkin, Phillipa Ruxton - Liz Larsen, Dolly Ruxton - Stacey A Logan, Jimmy Winter - Kurt Ollman, Orchestra Of St Luke’s, Eric Stern (conductor)

    IMP:3036600052, 16

  • Image for George Gershwin
    00:47

    George Gershwin S Wonderful(from Funny Face 1927)

    Performer: Sarah Vaughan (vocals), The Hugo Peretti Orchestra

    EMARCY:8468952, 14

  • Image for George Gershwin
    00:49

    George Gershwin S Wonderful(from Funny Face 1927)

    Performer: André Previn (piano), David Finck (double bass)

    DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON:4534932, 14

  • Image for George Gershwin
    00:01

    George Gershwin Medley of Rhapsody in Blue opening bar

    Performer: George Gershwin (piano, from 1925 piano roll recording), The Columbia Jazz Band, Michael Tilson Thomas (conductor)

    CBS: CD42240, 1

  • Image for George Gershwin
    00:04

    George Gershwin Rhapsody In Blue

    Performer: George Gershwin (piano, from 1925 piano roll recording), The Columbia Jazz Band, Michael Tilson Thomas (conductor)

    CBS:CD42240, 1

  • Image for George Gershwin
    00:21

    George Gershwin Oh Kay! (1926) (Act 1 excerpt)

    Performer: Kay - Dawn Upshaw, The Duke - Robert Westenberg, Larry Potter – Patrick Cassidy, Shorty McGree - Adam Arkin, Phillipa Ruxton - Liz Larsen, Dolly Ruxton - Stacey A Logan, Jimmy Winter - Kurt Ollman, Orchestra Of St Luke’s, Eric Stern (conductor)

    IMP:3036600052, 16

  • Image for George Gershwin
    00:47

    George Gershwin S Wonderful(from Funny Face 1927)

    Performer: Sarah Vaughan (vocals), The Hugo Peretti Orchestra

    EMARCY:8468952, 14

  • Image for George Gershwin
    00:50

    George Gershwin S Wonderful(from Funny Face 1927)

    Performer: André Previn (piano), David Finck (double bass)

    DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON:4534932, 14

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