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Christopher Dingle
BBC Music Magazine, January 2013

A sizzling Gershwin collection. Falletta paces magnificently, Weiss’s pianism is refined and the orchestra is sparklingly swaggering. All captured in marvellously realistic sound. © 2013 BBC Music Magazine

David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2012

GERSHWIN, G.: Piano Concerto / Second Rhapsody / I Got Rhythm Variations (Weiss, Buffalo Philharmonic, Falletta) 8.559705
GERSHWIN, G.: Piano Concerto / Second Rhapsody / I Got Rhythm Variations (Weiss, Buffalo Philharmonic, Falletta) (Blu-Ray Audio) NBD0025

A hugely exciting opening disc in a projected series of the complete orchestral works of George Gershwin from JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. As is often written, the young Gershwin relied on orchestrators to dress his music, but as the years rolled by he became adept at scoring his own works, all three included here coming from him. Then we have the tricky point of interpretation. Was he a tunesmith with a jazz background who was trying his hand at writing classical music, and should we approach his works from that standpoint? Or was he a genuine new voice in classical music? Falletta comes somewhere between the two, her spicy account of the Piano Concerto aiding and abetting Orion Weiss’s high-octane keyboard virtuosity. After a vivacious opening movement, Falletta never allows the central Adagio to fall into the usual trap of becoming languorous, the trumpet’s opening solo played within a strict rhythmic framework, and mercifully free of those attempts at a jazz style we hear from British orchestras. The Rhapsody sizzles in what has to be the most overtly brilliant account in disc, and I have heard them all, while the ‘I Got Rhythm Variations’ uses jazz as the basis of Weiss’s concept. So far so good, as the sound is highly detailed and well balanced. But then we move to the Blu-ray version, also issued this month, and we are in a new audio experience. I have never heard such a realistic piano sound on disc, the solo orchestral instruments are tangible, and there is such unforced impact, that if you have Blu-ray you must not hesitate but to buy that version. Those less fortunate will have a fantastic CD. What a series to look forward to! © 2012 David’s Review Corner

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