Rhapsody in Blue - Friday's Final Free Ensemble Monterey Download

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Dear Ensemble Monterey Friends - Today's download of Gershwin's Rhapsody is the last for a while because we are preparing for our Concert in the Vineyard, this Sunday, October 25th, at 3 PM. This will be a live-streamed concert free to everyone, just like these downloads. It will come to you from the Lester Family Vineyards in Aptos. To see it this Sunday, just go to our web site, ensemblemonterey.org, and follow the link.

These are unusual and troubling times, to say the least. At Ensemble Monterey we believe that now is the time for great music for everyone. It's what we can do, and will do. Everyone needs some beauty in their lives right now, and so we are going to keep the music coming! We know that many in our faithful audience may not be able to spare a regular ticket price right now, and so this one is free. If you can afford do donate for yourself, and maybe for someone who can't, now is the time! I'm personally asking you to help us, as you have so many times in the past. I guarantee that we will earn it, and pass it on. To donate to Ensemble Monterey, just click here.

Today Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue is an icon of sophistication. It couldn't have been more different when the big band leader, Paul Whiteman, premiered it in 1924. It was a 1920's jazz band piece. It was meant to be brash, brazen and in your face, and that's how we play it here, in the original 1924 orchestration. Whiteman, whose normal venues were ballrooms, rented Aeolian Hall in Manhattan and announced a bold musical experiment. Could jazz find a home in the classical world? Three jazz compositions were premiered that night. Can you name the other two? Me neither! There are numerous moments of humor in the Rhapsody. Don't miss the wha-wha morning-after hung over music that pops up here and there. Don't be afraid to laugh - George wanted you to. Our virtuoso pianist in this performance is Lucy Faridany.

It has been a great pleasure to send these downloads to you for the last 6 months. I hope they have done a little bit to brighten your weeks. Now it's time for the real thing. I'll see you this Sunday and remember, I won't start the concert without you!

Yours in Music - John Anderson