Gershwin – Rhapsody In Blue – Cuban Overture – Stars And Stripes Forever – Howard Hanson – Eugene List – The Eastman-Rochester Orchestra (1957 & 1962)
Mercury Living Presence | 1957 & 1962 | Classical | EAC RIP | FLAC+CUE+LOG+HQ-Covers (400Dpi) | 333Mb+16Mb
This is one of the best recordings I've heard of Gershwin's two big piano works. Eugene List is just phenomenal. He plays with a big, steely sound, but has plenty of feeling for the jazzy accents of both works. I can't praise Howard Hanson's contribution enough. The orchestra simply speaks Gershwin, in a manner that only a great conductor who absorbed this music and the influences on it in his youth could bring off. Hearing Hanson conduct Gershwin is like hearing Serafin conduct Verdi, so complete is the identification with the composer. The sound engineering is some of the best Mercury produced in Rochester, wide ranging with plenty of detail. I do question what Stars and Stripes is doing here, although it is a good performance with a student orchestra. Nevertheless, this is essential listening for the Gershwinaholic, as iconic in its way as Oscar Levant's performances.