Gershwin then went one step further and used the opportunity to turn the project into a full length serious concert work. As it turned out it was only later after the completion of this new concert work that Gershwin's full score was then adapted, in truncated form, for a 7 minute musical sequence in the movie.
Second Rhapsody, for piano & orchestra ("Rhapsody in Rivets")
Gershwin's full score is dated "March 14, " on the title page, and "May 23 , 33 Riverside Dive New York" on the final 76th page of music. The filming of 'Delicious" began in California in August and the movie soundtrack including the cut version of 2nd Rhapsody was recorded by Fox's studio orchestra in October The story outline for 'Delicious' starring Janet Gaynor had plenty of excuses for including music: the plot revolved around the life and loves of a young Russian pianist and composer emigrating to America, all the while struggling to complete his "New York Rhapsody".
In the movie part of Gershwin's 2nd Rhapsody is used to enhance an almost surreal dream-type sequence of images of New York.
Many of the images have a sinister edge presumably inspired by Gershwin's music which includes a 'rivet' theme that in the movie accompanies riveters building new skyscrapers in New York City. However Gershwin said he wrote the work as purely abstract music: "T here is no program to the Rhapsody.
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As the part of the picture where it is to be played takes place in many streets in New York, I used as a starting point what I called 'a rivet theme,' but, after that, I just wrote a piece of music without any program " [Gershwin letter to Goldberg, June 30th ]. Second Rhapsody occupies a quite different sound world to Rhapsody in Blue. Gershwin's music was subtly changing throughout his short life, and gradually acquiring darker hues and greater intensity.
As Gershwin's biographer Edward Jablonski once typically remarked of Second Rhapsody: " this is not a cheery work to listen to holding hands ". He went on to describe the work: " The Second Rhapsody is a fascinating composition; it is Gershwin around the corner. He had left the twenties; the self-styled 'modern romantic' created a work that is more modern than romantic ". The darker side of George Gershwin lends a very special feel to the score of Second Rhapsody, and in many ways foreshadows what was to come in his masterpiece opera Porgy and Bess.
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Second Rhapsody is also a work of tremendous passion and intensity, and as mentioned, has at its heart one of the most glorious and poignant melodies ever conceived by the composer of so many immortal melodies! The videos attached to this page courtesy of YouTube users will give some idea of how the work was adapted for the movie 'Delicious'. The movie was actually released a month or so before Second Rhapsody received its first performance in Boston; the truncated version of Second Rhapsody heard during the nightmare sequence in 'Delicious' the second video clip below would have been the first if not only opportunity the general public had to get to know Gershwin's newest composition.
Excerpts from the film film 'Delicious' featuring part of Gershwin's Second Rhapsody.
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Prelude to the nightmare sequence featuring Gershwin's 'Manhattan Rhapsody' as it was sometimes called for the film sequence. Here one of the main characters a composer, play ed by Raul Roulien is ta lking to the leading actress Janet Gaynor of his new musical composition actually portions of Gershwin's music.
The words he speaks are all fictitious of course, written to suit the scene, and bear no relation to what was or wasn't in Gershwin's mind when he completed the Second Rhapsody, several months before the film was scripted. This second video shows the sequence in the film where Gershwin's Manhattan Rhapsody is heard at length some 7 minutes of Gershwin's already completed Second Rhapsody score about half the length of the total work was used for this sequence.
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T he movie's musical director conducted the studio orchestra for the sound track from a photostat score of Gershwin's original manuscript with selected pages held together by paperclips! Work Title Second Rhapsody Alt ernative. McBride's reorchestration Gershwin's original orchestration remains unpublished. Average Duration Avg. Duration 10 minutes Composer Time Period Comp. Rhapsodies ; For piano, orchestra ; Scores featuring the piano ; Scores featuring the orchestra ; For orchestra with soloists ; For 2 pianos arr ; For 2 players.
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