In the late 1970s I heard an album of an orchestra / ensemble who had recorded Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. It was the first recording of RIB that I had ever heard and it was special. I don’t remember the name of the conductor, but the name of the orchestra was someone’s name, not like a city’s orchestra, or a national orchestra. I believe the orchestra was either American or British. Any ideas?
Here is the info you need.
Two audio recordings exist of Gershwin performing an abridged version of the work with Whiteman’s orchestra: an acoustic recording made June 10, 1924, released on two sides of Victor 55225 and running 8:59 – this recording includes the original clarinetist, Ross Gorman, playing the glissando — and an electrical recording made April 21, 1927, released on both sides of Victor 35822 and running 9:01 (about half the length of the complete work). The latter version was actually conducted by Nathaniel Shilkret after an argument between Gershwin and Whiteman. Both versions can be found here (For an explanation of “acoustic” and “electrical”, see gramophone record). A 1925 piano roll captured Gershwin’s performance in a two piano version. Whiteman’s orchestra also performed the piece in the 1930 film The King of Jazz featuring Roy Bargy on piano.
Since the mid-20th century, the 1942 version has usually been performed by classical orchestras playing the expanded arrangement. In this form, it has become a staple of the concert repertoire. It has direct popular appeal while also being regarded respectfully by classical musicians.
In the late 1970s, interest in the original arrangement was revived. Reconstructions of it have been recorded by Michael Tilson Thomas and the Columbia Jazz Band in 1976, and by Maurice Peress with Ivan Davis on piano as part of a 60th-anniversary reconstruction of the entire 1924 concert.