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Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue

Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue is one of the most American of all musical pieces, incorporating rhythms and sounds that mirror New York City in the mid-1920s. In straightforward prose and sturdy art, this book relates its story. Gershwin didn't remember agreeing to participate in bandleader Paul Whitman's musical extravaganza "An Experiment in Modern Music," which was only weeks away. But at Whitman's urging, he decides to compose a concerto--then regrets it when the writing becomes a struggle. While on a train, however, the sounds he hears help him focus his thoughts, and he imagines the rhapsody from beginning to end, later calling it "a musical kaleidoscope of America." Along with the story, this provides a CD--an addition that enriches the book. On its own, the story may not interest children, but once they hear the stimulating music, the history of its origins will take on meaning. A great way to introduce a classic to a new generation.