I’VE FINALLY FOUND IT!! For the longest time I could only find the third movement of this and had no idea what the rest of it sounded like. HERE IT IS, THE ENTIRE SONG, COMPLETELY INTACT.
Supposedly Stravinsky called this “the work of a genius.” When it debuted people were confused as to whether it was jazz or classical. xD
It’s beautiful. ;A; Gershwin composed this in 1925, and ORCHESTRATED IT ALL HIMSELF. (He learned how to orchestrate music a month or two after composing Rhapsody in Blue, better late than never, am I right?)
Unlike his earlier and more popular Rhapsody in Blue, this piano concerto sticks closer to a more conventional classical language than jazz. But that doesn’t mean this work isn’t jazzy. Far from it, the first movement is bursting with brass and jumps along unexpected harmonies, and sounds almost reminiscent of Rachmaninoff’s last piano concerto [which was also jazz inspired]. Gershwin takes it to a new level with the blues inspired slow movement, with melodies and orchestrations that reflect his earlier rhapsody [a lot of plucking bass, and smearing wind rises]. Also, unlike his rhapsody, Gershwin himself orchestrated the concerto. The music feels very cosmopolitain, both its popular stylistic roots and its forward thinking harmonic voicing. In his own words, Gershwin describe the work, "The first movement employs the Charleston rhythm. It is quick and pulsating, representing the young enthusiastic spirit of American life. It begins with a rhythmic motif given out by the kettle drums…. The principal theme is announced by the bassoon. Later, a second theme is introduced by the piano. The second movement has a poetic, nocturnal atmosphere which has come to be referred to as the American blues, but in a purer form than that in which they are usually treated. The final movement reverts to the style of the first. It is an orgy of rhythms, starting violently and keeping to the same pace throughout.“