Gershwin – A rhapsody in blue


a what in blue?!?

In 1926 Gershwin went to Paris to meet Ravel. He wanted to learn from him, and was especially interested in his unusual chords. The story goes that the two composers met indeed, but that after some exchanging of ideas Ravel told him he couldn’t teach him: Why be a second-rate Ravel when you can be a first-rate Gershwin?

Gershwin invited Ravel to play in America, and after that visit went again to the French capitol. He met the famous teacher Nadia Boulanger and was rejected again, for similar reasons: What could I give you that you haven’t already got? He might have been rejected for the lessons, but Gershwin did bring back inspiration. He presented New York with a jazzy piece with lots of atmosphere about Paris. He even used four taxi horns from Paris to be used for the premiere in December 1928.

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