992 – Rhapsody in Blue

Of course it’s not allowed to make photos in a concert like yesterday’s “Porgy and Bess” in Graz, directed by Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Let me only tell you that it was very operatic, complex and technically excellent, although it may disappoint some expectations. Can you imagine that I sometimes was reminded of Wagner’s “Tristan and Isolde”? Not by the melodies of course, but by the music’s complexity and its shifting layers. We may tend to forget it, but Gershwin did not compose Jazz, and he is well rooted in a long history of composers. Well, I thoroughly enjoyed it 🙂

Though I have no images from the concert, Gershwin fits nicely. Graz is the capital of Styria, the Austrian province to the east of Carinthia. We decided to skip the highway over the mountains and instead crossed on one of the old roads. I must admit, I have never seen so many Lupines in my whole life. All the mountains wear glorious blue.

The Song of the Day is “Rhapsody in Blue” from the 1994 album “The Glory Of Gershwin”, featuring Larry Adler on harmonica, accompanied by Peter Gabriel, Chris De Burgh, Sting, Lisa Stansfield, Elton John, Carly Simon, Elvis Costello, Cher, Kate Bush, Jon Bon Jovi, Oleta Adams, Willard White, Sinead O’Connor, Robert Palmer, Meat Loaf, Issy Van Randwyck and Courtney Pine.

There is one solo piece, “Rhapsody in Blue”, at the end of the album, featuring Larry and an orchestra arranged by George Martin. YouTube has a video of the shortened version from the B-side of the 7″ single of Kate Bush’s version of “The Man I Love”. A longer and more intimate version, featuring Larry Adler and his brother Jerry on piano, is also available on YouTube, although the sound quality is regrettably bad.

I have linked to the import version of the album, because the US version did not contain the two songs performed by Chris De Burgh. Btw, did I mention that this album is a MUST??