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Rhapsody in Navy Blue | Originals

Marine Band of the Royal Netherlands Navy

Melillo, Bennett, Barber, Copland, Corigliano, Ives, Gershwin

SKU: 42920

Year of release: 2020

1. A Sending Melillo 06:46
Suite of Old American Dances 17:02
2. Suite of Old American Dances: Cake Walk Bennett 04:05
3. Suite of Old American Dances: Schottische Bennett 02:51
4. Suite of Old American Dances: Western One-Step Bennett 03:13
5. Suite of Old American Dances: Wallflower Waltz Bennett 03:11
6. Suite of Old American Dances: Rag Bennett 03:40
7. Commando March Barber 03:37
8. Variations on a Shaker Melody Copland 03:25
9. Fanfare for the Common Man Copland 03:17
Gazebo Dances for Band 16:15
10. Gazebo Dances for Band: Overture Corigliano 04:47
11. Gazebo Dances for Band: Waltz Corigliano 02:48
12. Gazebo Dances for Band: Adagio Corigliano 05:55
13. Gazebo Dances for Band: Tarantella Corigliano 02:44
14. March, 'Omega Lambda Chi' Ives 02:52
15. Emblems Copland 11:21
16. Rhapsody in Blue Gershwin 16:27
Total time: 81:05

About this album

What makes American music so recognizably American, including the compositions for wind instruments on this special recording? Is it because it mirrors a multicultural nation? A nation of migrants from across the world, of slaves, and, not to forget, of the original Indian inhabitants?

In American music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, these cultures and styles encounter one another and intermingle, stretching from Charles Ives through Aaron Copland to John Adams. In contrast to Europe, traditions in America are less firmly anchored historically, since the nation is young and its musical history much shorter. Classical music in Europe was once something of a sacred bastion, as became quite clear in the 1920s and 1930s when that world was often shaken up by composers who liked to dilute their classical creations with generous dashes of jazz. Among them were Maurice Ravel, Francis Poulenc, Arthur Honegger, Darius Milhaud, and Paul Hindemith.

At first, there was resistance in the USA to the influence of jazz and blues on classical music, as experienced by Aaron Copland, who decamped for some time to Mexico. But the crossing between ‘serious’ and ‘light’ gradually became fluent in America, and audiences came to acknowledge that music may be well-sounding and rhythmically catching.

This recording offers a fine sampling of music from the United States for military band and illustrates this typical, multicolored American amalgam of folk music, religious hymns, jazz, blues, marches, and other military music.

On the present recording, Rhapsody in Blue is heard in the original version, as performed at the1924 premiere by Paul Whiteman’s jazz band, and scored for two clarinets, oboe, three saxophones, two horns, two trumpets, two trombones, tuba, percussion, banjo, violins, and double bass.

A piano roll made in 1925, featuring composer George Gershwin as the soloist (!) was discovered by chance. There was just one problem, however, for the roll comprised not only the solo part but also the accompaniment (piano) part. The 5,000 to 6,000 little perforations were sealed by Jan Bouman, and the result is nothing less than a revelation.

Marine Band of the Royal Netherlands Navy
Major Arjan Tien, Conductor
George Gershwin, Piano Solo on Rhapsody In Blue (1925 Piano Roll)

—> Watch “The Making Of” video of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, with George Gershwin’s own performance of the piano solo!

Download booklet



De Gelderlander

Dit keer worden de schijnwerpers op de Verenigde Staten gericht en ook met dit repertoire weten majoor Arjan Tien en zijn muzikanten uitstekend raad. (...) Het album ‘Rhapsody in Navy Blue Originals’ eindigt met een hoogst originele versie van de beroemde Rhapsody in Blue uit 1924. Dankzij een door Jan Bouman aangestuurde pianolarol horen we George Gershwin (1898-1937) zelf aan het werk als pianist. (...) Sprankelend entertainment dat regelmatig de verdieping zoekt. De Marinierskapel doet hier en elders niet onder voor de beste Amerikaanse showorkesten.

Noordhollands Dagblad

Fonkelende uitvoering (...) een huzarenstukje (...) grote verrassing: de vrijheid waarmee Gershwin zijn eigen muziek speelt. (...) Een cd met sprankelende Amerikaanse stukken voor harmonieorkest.

Senior NativeDSD Reviewer

I especially like the Gershwin Rhapsody In Blue and the Copland Fanfare. Great stuff!

Opus Klassiek

(...) Er wordt letterlijk over de muzikale én topografische grenzen heen gemusiceerd en dan ook nog met werkelijk internationale allure in de MCO-studio in Hilversum vastgelegd. Wat mij betreft mag de serie van de 'Marine Band of the Royal Netherlands Navy' met evenveel aplomb worden voortgezet. En dan te bedenken dat Channel Classics met deze serie 'Originals' al eerder geschiedenis heeft geschreven.

Technical Specifications

SpeakersGrimm LS1
Mastering EngineerJared Sacks
EditingJared Sacks - Pyramix Workstation / Merging Technologies
CablesVan den Hul
MicrophonesBruel & Kjaer 4006, Schoeps
Recording FormatDSD 256
Analog To Digital ConverterHorus, Merging Technologies
Recording DateFeb 2020
Recording LocationStudio 1, MCO Hilversum, The Netherlands
Recording EngineerJared Sacks
ProductionJared Sacks