Rhapsody in Blue


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Rhapsody in Blue


Presto Disc of the Week

6th August 2012



Catalogue No:




Release date:

30th July 2012




73 minutes


SACD (download also available)


Hybrid Multi-channel
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Rhapsody in Blue


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



(also available to download from $10.00)

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Freddy Kempf and Andrew Litton with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra here join forces to present a disc of works by George Gershwin.

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

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 is completed by Gershwin’s two remaining works for piano and orchestra, the Second Rhapsody and Variations on ‘I Got Rhythm’.

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

George Gershwin: Piano Concerto in F major

I. Allegro moderato - Cantabile - Poco meno scherzando

II. Andante con moto

III. Allegro con brio

George Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue (arr. F. Grofe)

Rhapsody in Blue (arr. F. Grofe for piano and jazz band)

George Gershwin: Second Rhapsody

Second Rhapsody

George Gershwin: I Got Rhythm Variations

I Got Rhythm Variations

BBC Music Magazine

October 2012


“His first entry in the ambitious Concerto in F is a touch disappointing...But his playing after that 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.”

Gramophone Magazine

October 2012

“Freddy Kempf is totally efficient and well balanced in this recording, and in the finale his repeated-note panache is breathtaking, threatening to come unstuck - but it never does...The chief attraction of this CD is getting all these pieces together in convincing performances.”

The Arts Desk

8th September 2012

“This is a fun reading [of the Rhapsody], but Kempf doesn’t sound quite as unbuttoned as in the later pieces. There’s plenty of technical brilliance – staggering rapid passage work and articulation, but the emotional thrills are provided by Litton’s Bergen forces... But stick with Kempf – it’s a thrill to hear him slowly drop his guard and deliver a slow movement of melting beauty”

Presto Classical

Chris O'Reilly

6th August 2012

“The Piano Concerto is terrifically exciting, with wonderful orchestral sounds and very stylish playing from Kempf. And as a collection of all Gershwin’s music for piano and orchestra on one disc, this is most definitely up there with the very best.”

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