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I am a big fan of Cateen as some of you know from a previous thread. I've never heard a performance of RiB that comes clos to this one. It's much longer than others because there are many solos/cadenzas he added. Also many little changes/additions to to the standard score. All of which sound great to me.

What do think of this performance?

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Dude is amazing and the Brass section wasn't too shabby either.

Last edited by Learux; 12/05/21 11:47 PM.

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I am a fan of Cateen but I am not a fan of this performance.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
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Originally Posted by dogperson
I am a fan of Cateen but I am not a fan of this performance.
Why not? I'm not saying you should, but I'd like to hear why you think so.

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Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by dogperson
I am a fan of Cateen but I am not a fan of this performance.
Why not? I'm not saying you should, but I'd like to hear why you think so.


I’d prefer not to post my reasons, as it will only encourage at least 25 people here to tell me I’m an uneducated bumpkin, and that surely anyone with a shred of musical judgement would think it is the best performance ever given.

I almost didn’t even post anything at all.


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I'm a fan of Cateen, but to me this is a stunt - a stunningly executed one (aside from the interminable 13-second delay while he sets up the melodica), but not a performance of Rhapsody in Blue.

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Interesting to hear. For my opinion it is just for fun to use cateen in such masterpiece


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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by dogperson
I am a fan of Cateen but I am not a fan of this performance.
Why not? I'm not saying you should, but I'd like to hear why you think so.


I’d prefer not to post my reasons, as it will only encourage at least 25 people here to tell me I’m an uneducated bumpkin, and that surely anyone with a shred of musical judgement would think it is the best performance ever given.

I almost didn’t even post anything at all.
I think that's unnecessarily pessimistic. I can see that it could be seen as an pastiche of unrelated themes without too much overall coherence, for example.

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Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by dogperson
I am a fan of Cateen but I am not a fan of this performance.
Why not? I'm not saying you should, but I'd like to hear why you think so.


I’d prefer not to post my reasons, as it will only encourage at least 25 people here to tell me I’m an uneducated bumpkin, and that surely anyone with a shred of musical judgement would think it is the best performance ever given.

I almost didn’t even post anything at all.
I think that's unnecessarily pessimistic. I can see that it could be seen as an pastiche of unrelated themes without too much overall coherence, for example.


You should post your own opinion and your own reasoning


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Based on a request from Whiteman, The Rhapsodie in Blue was composed by Gerswin for 2 pianos originally and since he wasnt a very skilled orchestrator he asked Ferde Grofe to orchestrate it for him. The interesting part is that the original version was set up for a small jazz orchestra of about 25 musicians, so very far from a symphonic orchestra, even less a philharmonic one. Later on Grofe extended the size of the orchestra in 2 other versions. The opening clarinet solo was not written by Gerswin but it is an impro from a musician of Whiteman orchestra.

I find the version of Cateen to be typically ... Cateen. Taken separately each cadence is great. Put all together, I find that version to be more of a solo piano performance with orchestra accompaniement. The cadences being quite long and numerous, it breaks the flow and therefore there is less interaction with the orchestra. I am not sure also that the cadences match well together. So a great Cateen performance, certainly quite original, but I think it is something else than the piece as composed by Gerswin.

The orchestra is playing in a romantic way. I find it lacks a certain punch and jazzy flavor. As an example below the original jazz version with a smaller ensemble. The quality of solo musicians is top notch.



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Originally Posted by Sidokar
I find the version of Cateen to be typically ... Cateen. Taken separately each cadence is great. Put all together, I find that version to be more of a solo piano performance with orchestra accompaniement. The cadences being quite long and numerous, it breaks the flow and therefore there is less interaction with the orchestra. I am not sure also that the cadences match well together. So a great Cateen performance, certainly quite original, but I think it is something else than the piece as composed by Gershwin.
Although I love Cateen's performance(hence the title of this thread), I basically agree with your criticisms. His last added cadenza seems especially too lengthy. Cateen reminds of Alkan, who I feel sometimes has too many ideas and whose pieces would be better if they were cut by 1/3. I felt the same thing about Cateen's Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody #2 cadenza, which, although terrific, seemed just too lengthy and might have been better if it was pruned down. OTOH this is still my favorite performance of RiB.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 12/07/21 11:42 AM.
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This is the best, IMO. I do appreciate you introducing me to Canteen though.


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Thanks for posting, nice to hear the piano like this! Is he playing it or it playing him I’d imagine wondering. Such a wonderful quality to have or earn, even to bestow/exhibit.

I’m impressed with mid way from circa 10 to 13 mins where I can hear the vibe from a typical publisher’s score page from the era coming through unadulterated albeit virtuosic on the RHs, and further authenticity with that when the dotted 1/8s to 1/16s are actually registered there – fabulous; and he’s enjoyed it himself. He seems more steadfast there!

I heard 2.25x other YT live versions today – as much as presumably Storm Barra would permit: almost 2 full solos and another longer one like this, till quarter way through, but I can sense already before returning to it yet that this muse mid-way here is something being too rarely exhibited to be heard elsewhere.

Great to hear piano actually entering this zone (area of interest), and while there’s so much else to do – I guess it’s outright maverick to show such steadfast on the aforesaid common score characteristics; so often this commonly basic side to publishers popular song scores is euphemised into something different (syncopated piano/stride/cocktail?/etc. normally or in this piece it seems into other emotive interpretations – Cateen seems to be ignoring all that there, sentiment, and getting on with the page as notated. Excellent, but please let me know if he’s cheated there and it’s him rather than Gershwin’s intent/notation.

His coverage of this taking up, generally, a whole 1/8th of the performance rather than lost in any other performance if lucky to show an 1/8th of a line let alone an 1/8th of an entire concerto - thanks so much, a real treat!

-

Oh I now see more posts to other renditions, which I'll listen to next and reply back if they change my mind. It's very like the set up I was watching earlier today before being cut-off, but which drew more attention to a connectedness between pianist and orchestra, but even within the orchestra itself ) NY Symphony Orch I think it was - an equally long version, along with a Makoto Ozone, which I'll resume listening to - a comparison on the Original Post.

Last edited by concertinist25701; 12/07/21 02:30 PM.

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Ah the same arr., by NYSO with Ozone, but a little too speedy at the midway venture into typical C20th song score elements = nice all the same to compare - I prefer the more disconnected approach actually as it's a very tough piece that's asking deliberately not to be mastered perhaps, but rather explored!

c;mon storm barra let me post! written 20 mins ago


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I wasn't expecting Ozone to shine later there with such amazing gusto as had Cateen conversly perhaps started started more with (?) I may flip a coin.


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I honestly don't understand it. If the (improvised?) cadenzas were in Gershwin's style, I could maybe go for it. But that last one, which interrupts what is arguably the most important transition in the work, seems pointless to me, ridiculously long, and the Liszt reference is kind of silly. I mean, I'm all for injecting spontaneity, humor, a bit of extra excitement, and whatnot into a performance, but when it comes at the expense of nullifying that magical opening of the toccata and the building of energy from a tiny motivic gesture into a full-blown orgy of piano virtuosity and blazing brass sonorities, I'm afraid my interest evaporates.

I'd really, really love to hear him play it straight. He's a fabulous pianist!


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Originally Posted by SiFi
I honestly don't understand it. If the (improvised?) cadenzas were in Gershwin's style, I could maybe go for it. But that last one, which interrupts what is arguably the most important transition in the work, seems pointless to me, ridiculously long, and the Liszt reference is kind of silly. I mean, I'm all for injecting spontaneity, humor, a bit of extra excitement, and whatnot into a performance, but when it comes at the expense of nullifying that magical opening of the toccata and the building of energy from a tiny motivic gesture into a full-blown orgy of piano virtuosity and blazing brass sonorities, I'm afraid my interest evaporates.

I'd really, really love to hear him play it straight. He's a fabulous pianist!
I agree that some of his added cadenzas are far too long and/or veer off into styles that seem out of place. I do still like the performance a lot but wrote my OP right after hearing his performance for the first time. On that first hearing, all his new material made listening to the piece very exciting and full of endless surprises. Like hearing it for the first time.

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A favourite or best version will always be a matter of opinion. This doesn't beat my favourite for me and I don't think anything else ever will, either.

When I first heard "Jesu' joy of mans desiring" I wanted to play a piano.

When I heard Bernstein's Rhapsody in Blue I HAD to learn to play the piano... It was just so exciting! I wanted to do THAT! (Still can't.... still trying!)

I'm not too interested in interpretations, "should be jazzy", or "should be classical", to each their own, I just like what I like.



As an aside, is that violinist wearing a "The Beatles, A Hard Day's Night" tie? I think we should be told!

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I listened to this last night and agree with SiFi and in the end it becomes no longer Gershwin. Way too many liberties and long asides and then Liszt rhap distorts the 'jazz' element. That said, I did enjoy listening and that is what this is all about but will not come back. I actually like Kirill Gerstein performance as he was trained in jazz and adds his own 'short' jazz flare which integrates perfectly with the score.

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Wow! I had forgotten how much I love this piece. It exemplified the Roaring Twenties in New York city. Slipperykeys post of Bernstein's arrangement was a joy to experience again.

I had not heard of Cateen before. I watched the performance with interest but the composer's ideas evaporated when the melodica was set up and he put the tube into his mouth! As Mathsguy pointed out it suddenly collapses into a stunt. I was reminded of Rolf Harris and his stylophone performances (cringe!). It went from bad to worse for me after that particularly around 19.00 when he started quoting Liszt. New York city disappeared and it became very much more like look at me, look at me!

Cateen is a brilliant pianist however a performer should always be a transparent medium and let the music flow through them. Mr Cellophane if you like. An iconic composition like Rhapsody In Blue has everything Gershwin wanted to express already in the music. As soon as a performer starts "performing" improvisations, and essentially showing off, it is very easy for the musical intent of the piece to go off the rails of the composer's original intent. The magic evaporates.


"It is the mark of an instructed mind to rest satisfied with the degree of precision which the nature of the subject admits and not to seek exactness when only an approximation of the truth is possible" (Aristotle 384 BCE - March 7, 322 BCE)
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