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George GershwinHis Life and Work$
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Howard Pollack

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780520248649

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520248649.001.0001

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The Rhapsody in Blue (1924)

The Rhapsody in Blue (1924)

Chapter:
(p.294) Chapter Sixteen The Rhapsody in Blue (1924)
Source:
George Gershwin
Author(s):

Howard Pollack

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520248649.003.0016

About the time that Sweet Little Devil went into rehearsal, Gershwin started work on a composition—the Rhapsody in Blue—for Paul Whiteman and his Palais Royal Orchestra, a piece which became an important milestone in terms of not only the composer's career, but American music in general. The Rhapsody evokes not only the blues, but, quite generally, the sounds of New York: the hurdy-gurdies of the Lower East Side, the calliopes of Coney Island, the player pianos of Harlem, the chugging of trains leaving Grand Central Station, the noisy construction of midtown skyscrapers, and so forth. It combines elements of classical music with jazz-influenced effects.

Keywords:   Paul Whiteman, Rhapsody in Blue, Palais Royal Orchestra, American music, New York, classical music, jazz

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