This week we are leaping out of the Baroque period and back into the twentieth century. Rhapsody in Blue, by George Gershwin, is a musical composition for solo piano and jazz band. Written in 1924, it combines elements of classical music with jazz-influenced effects.
“It was on the train, with its steely rhythms, its rattle-ty bang, that is often so stimulating to a composer – I frequently hear music in the very heart of the noise…And there I suddenly heard, and even saw on paper – the complete construction of the Rhapsody, from beginning to end. No new themes came to me, but I worked on the thematic material already in my mind and tried to conceive the composition as a whole. I heard it as a sort of musical kaleidoscope of America, of our vast melting pot, of our unduplicated national pep, of our blues, our metropolitan madness. By the time I reached Boston, I had a definite plot of the piece, as distinguished from its actual substance.” (Wikipedia)
“The Rhapsody is not a composition at all. It’s a string of separate paragraphs stuck together. The themes are terrific – inspired, God-given. I don’t think there has been such an inspired melodist on this earth since Tchaikovsky…”