Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Bañagale, Ryan Raul. “From Camp to Carnegie Hall: Leonard Bernstein and Rhapsody in Blue.” In Arranging Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue and the Creation of an American Icon, 73-96. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

An analysis of Leonard Bernstein’s numerous arrangements of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, which he made throughout his career, illustrates Bernstein’s controversial conviction that the piece was structurally flexible. They also reflect Bernstein’s ambivalent relationship with the piece and with Gershwin, which is also evident in his interviews and essays. Bernstein’s earliest arrangement was written in 1937, when he was still a teenager, and his 1959 recording of the performance with the BBC is one of the best-known versions of the piece today. Certain omissions, stylistic aberrations, reorchestrations, and score annotations in Bernstein’s arrangements offer clues to his developing relationship with the piece and potentially to which editions of the score he knew best.

Works: Leonard Bernstein (arranger): Rhapsody in Blue [1959 version] (75-77, 90-92), Rhapsody in Blue [1937 version] (82-89), Rhapsody in Blue [1938 version] (90).

Sources: George Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue (73-96).

Index Classifications: 1900s, Jazz

Contributed by: Molly Covington

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Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
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