Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue turns 100 in 2024.
February 12, 2024 marks the 100th anniversary of the premiere of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. Commissioned by the great bandleader Paul Whiteman, Gershwin himself performed the piano part at the first performance in Aeolian Hall in NYC. Whiteman’s arranger and orchestrator was Ferde Grofé, who did several different versions of the work, the last of which in 1942.
However, the original dance band version scored for Whiteman’s exact ensemble is the work that singularly evokes the jazz age. William Eddins has performed this version of Rhapsody over 100 times since the early 1990s. Conducting from the piano he brings the work to life with an intensity and enthusiasm that brings audiences to its feet every time.
1 Bb Clarinet doubling Eb and Bass
1 Baritone Sax
1 Alto Sax, doubling on Soprano 1
1 Tenor Sax,
8 violins (4 – 1st, 4 – 2nd)
Piano (other than solo) and Celeste parts can be covered by one player 1 Timpani
1 trap set percussionist
2 auxiliary percussion parts can be covered by one player
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