Gershwin - The First Recordings

This week's release offers a real cornucopia of first Gershwin recordings. We have the debuts on disc for a huge variety of Gershwin's finest output: Rhapsody in Blue - acoustic and electric, Three Preludes, Short Story, Concerto in F, An American in Paris, Second Rhapsody, Cuban Overture, excerpts from Porgy and Bess, and the “I Got Rhythm” Variations - plus two additional 1927 recordings of Rhapsody in Blue made later the same year as Gershwin's own first electric recording.

There are some fine performances here, including what should surely be regarded as definitive interpretations with the composer at the keyboard (who was also involved in supervision of a number of recordings in which his own active participation was not required).

Mark Obert-Thorn has returned to original sources to produce a set which brings together, for the first time in one place, all of the première recordings of George Gershwin’s works for the concert hall and opera house that were issued on 78 rpm discs, spanning a quarter of a century from the era of acoustic recording to the dawn of the LP. It features several items which have not been reissued previously on CD (some not even on LP) - a landmark release indeed!