Gershwin’s Rhapsody

Rhapsody in Blue

Rhapsody in Blue was originally arranged by Ferde Grofé for jazz band before being orchestrated for symphony orchestra. Here pianist Freddy Kempf and the Bergen Philharmonic play this original version.


  • Rhapsody in Blue
  • original jazz band version, orch. Ferde Grofé
  • Piano Concerto in F major
  • Second Rhapsody

in the original 1931 orchestration by the composer

  • I Got Rhythm Variations

Performed by Freddy Kempf (piano), with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Andrew Litton

Freddy Kempf and Andrew Litton with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra  join forces on this CD to present the works by George Gershwin.

Concerto in F was a commission for Gershwin to write a ‘proper’ piano concerto, but still takes the rhythms, melodic structures and bluesy harmonies of popular music.

The disc also includes by Gershwin’s two remaining works for piano and orchestra, the Second Rhapsody and Variations on ‘I Got Rhythm’.

Here is what BBC Music Magazine wrote in October 2011:

“His …  playing … combines dazzling articulation with a feeling for jazz rhythms and big Broadway-style tunes…Litton, no slouch himself as a Gershwin pianist, provides an idiomatic accompaniment with his Bergen Philharmonic, resplendently recorded with the piano nicely integrated into the texture.”


Here is Leonard Bernstein playing Gershwin



And here is George Gershwin himself, playing Rhapsody In Blue – 1924



Tags: Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue, Piano Concerto, Freddy Kempf


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