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Gershwin Plays Gershwin: The Piano Rolls

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Album Review

George Gershwin made 130 piano rolls between 1916-1927; 28 were recorded and released in 1998 on two Nonesuch CDs. This particular release has quite a few obscure Gershwin songs, including his very first tune, "When You Want 'Em, You Can't Get 'Em, When You've Got 'Em, You Don't Want 'Em." Certainly such tunes as "Novelette in Fourths," "So Am I," and "Idle Dreams" are long forgotten but worth reviving. Among the other highlights of the fascinating and highly enjoyable recital are "Sweet and Lowdown," "Swanee" and a 14-minute rendition of "Rhapsody in Blue." The 1933 item is a bit unusual, for it is a two-piano rendition of "An American in Paris" that lasts over 16 minutes and was arranged by Frank Milne. Well worth exploring.

Customer Reviews

The Master Plays From Beyond The Grave

Every lover of music loves to find that rarity, that Holy Grail of his or her favorite composer. For Gershwin fans in particular and lovers of American music in general, the recent discovery of piano rolls made by Gershwin himself in the 1920's is a find almost too good to believe. Due to the brilliant efforts of the creative team behind "Gershwin: The Piano Rolls," we at last get to hear Gershwin play Gershwin - with the best possible sound reproduction, to boot. The piano roll (a true "digital" recording device) here captures not only Gershwin's rhythms and dynamic range, but also subtleties lost in early sound recordings. The piano roll technology allowed for superhuman musical feats, such as Gershwin accompanying himself in four-, six- and eight-handed arrangements. The recordings, made in a concert hall using Yamaha digital pianos, provides the feel of a live concert. Those familiar with the Gerswhin songbook may be surprised at his bouncy, sometimes frenetic playing style, so different from the standard Paul Whiteman recordings. Highly recommended. Fans of this sort of ghostly comeback should also consider the Biograph label recordings of Scott Joplin piano rolls, which exhibit a similar liveliness lost by later hero-worshipping performers.

the beauty of music

This album is spectacular! Gershwin has truly made a mark in american popculture and changed classical music forever. He has inspired so many muscians and is extremley talented. This is a great album demonstrating gershwin's easiest to hardest pieces. I recomend it to anyone, enjoy!

This is a must!!!!

Along with Aaron Copland and Charles Ives, George Gershwin was one of our greatest composers of the 20th century. These wonderfully produced piano rolls are a must for all music lovers and pianists.Enjoy!!!! Peace and Love Guy Piano


Born: September 26, 1898 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '10s, '20s, '30s

In a career tragically cut short in mid-stride by a brain tumor, George Gershwin (1898-1937) proved himself to be not only one of the great songwriters of his extremely rich era, but also a gifted "serious" composer who bridged the worlds of classical and popular music. The latter is all the more striking, given that, of his contemporaries, Gershwin was the most influenced by such styles as jazz and blues. Gershwin's first major hit, interpolated into the show Sinbad in 1919, was "Swanee," sung...
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Gershwin Plays Gershwin: The Piano Rolls, George Gershwin
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