Album: Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Gershwin (Decca)

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The Independent Culture

The reputation of George Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue has been transformed in recent years as, starting with Michael Tilson Thomas in the 1970s, arrangers have rediscovered its jazz origins beneath decades of orchestral polish. Working with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under Martin Alsop, pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet is the latest to return to the original jazz-band version orchestrated by Ferde Grofé for Gershwin and the Paul Whiteman Orchestra back in the 1920s, and hearing this ebullient interpretation is akin to returning a piece of folk art to the masses after years in a museum.

Grofé's similar treatment of Gershwin's Piano Concerto in F is less successful, but there's compensation in Thibaudet's bustling take on the "I Got Rhythm" Variations.

Download this Rhapsody In Blue; I Got Rhythm Variations