Andrew Litton, conductor/pianist
Dallas Symphony Orchestra
“…Birds in the tree sing their dayful of song” from “I Got Rhythm”
The timeless appeal of the music of George Gershwin presents a recording company with any number of winning combinations. This Delos compilation stacks the cards by featuring America’s conductor/pianist Andrew Litton, a Gershwin-ite practically from birth (he grew up just yards from where Gershwin wrote in New York), a great symphony orchestra that can swing, and an honest-to-goodness Gershwin recording premiere. The premiere –Dayful of Song -derives its intriguing title from an Ira gershwin line in the hit song I Got Rhythm: “… Birds in the tree sing their dayful of song.” Seven unknown Gershwin songs from the treasure trove left after his death have been arranged into a medley by orchestrator Sid Ramin to create a suite that will delight all lovers of Gershwin’s music. It’s fascinating to hear these unmistakably Gershwin melodies, so recognizable yet strangely unfamiliar. The titles are Hold On, I must Write a Song, Hot, One Minute More, Sutton Place, My Honor Was at Stake, and Machinery Goes Mad. You mean you don’t know them? You will! The other numbers on the disc cover most of Gershwin’s career. The lovely string Lullaby of 1919, the seminal jazz classic Rhapsody in Blue of 1924 in its original Paul Whiteman orchestration by Ferde Grofe, the lilting, ever-young American in Paris of 1928, the richly mature Cuban Overture of 1932, and the Astaire-Rogers tidbit from Shall We Dance. The movies called it Walking the Dog. We call it Promenade.
Maestro Andrew Litton, who also happens to be a first-rate pianist, both plays and conducts Rhapsody in Blue. In the remainder of the program his special American knowledge of the Gershwin idiom makes this recording the one that shouts, this is the way George would have wanted it. The sound of the virtuosic Dallas Symphony, captured in its acoustically brilliant Myerson Hall setting, is another example of what Delos Virtual Reality Sound can add to an already outstanding recording.
Dayful of Song RECORDING PREMIERE – Andrew Litton, piano
Promenade – Stephen Girko, clarinet
Rhapsody in Blue – Andrew Litton, piano
An American in Paris