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Rhapsody in Blue

Composer: George Gershwin

Instrument: Marimba

Level: Advanced

Published: 2020

Price: €30.00

Item details

  • Description +
    • Duration: approx 20 min.
      Arranged and adapted by Adélaïde Ferrière

      « Performing the Rhapsody in Blue was maybe one of the most difficult and amazing things I have ever done. Being a full orchestral work, this arrangement was extremely challenging in order to keep that powerful sound and harmony on the marimba. Having first performed the version for solo piano and orchestra, I strongly believed the full piece would work. I am very happy to publish it and make this masterpiece available for all percussion players. »

      Adélaïde Ferrière

  • Instrumentation +
    • Marimba (5-octave)

  • Watch+
    • Performed by Adélaïde Ferrière

  • About the composer +
    • George Gershwin (born Jacob Bruskin Gershowitz, September 26, 1898 – July 11, 1937) was an American composer and pianist whose compositions spanned both popular and classical genres. Among his best-known works are the orchestral compositions Rhapsody in Blue (1924) and An American in Paris (1928), the songs Swanee (1919) and Fascinating Rhythm (1924), the jazz standard I Got Rhythm (1930), and the opera Porgy and Bess (1935) which spawned the hit Summertime.

  • Reviews +
    • Review (Percussive Notes, October 2021)
      Marimbists looking for a challenge need look no further than Adélaïde Ferrière’s adaptation of George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” At almost 20 minutes, this is one of the most substantial single-movement works in the marimba repertoire. Single-instrument arrangements (solo guitar, solo piano, solo marimba) of large orchestral works can be incredibly difficult to adapt in a convincing manner, as the lack of multiple players and multiple timbres can cause different sections of the work to feel too similar while also restricting the amount of musical material that may be presented simultaneously. Ferrière has expertly condensed the entire solo piano work and orchestral accompaniment into a work for four-mallet marimba. The adaptation is superb in presenting the musical material in a manner fitting the acoustic capabilities of the marimba.
      Ferrière’s performance of the adaptation is captivating, with an equally entrancing professionally produced video. Her performance causes 20 minutes to seemingly evaporate, as the spectacle of the intricate and athletic performance is balanced by the highly expressive interpretation of Gershwin’s source material.

      This incredibly ambitious arrangement is impressive, musically intriguing, and not for the faint of heart. A successful performance demonstrates complete mastery over the instrument. Serious marimbists may want to purchase this work as a “bucket list” work, or even to support this ambitious endeavor without ever planning to perform it. It is a strong contribution to our repertoire, and provides a historical and canonical (in the Western Classical tradition) option with which the greater percussion community may engage.
      —Jamie Wind Whitmarsh
  • Credits +
    • Front Cover Design: Ronni Kot Wenzell
      Photo: Adrien Roux
      Engraving: Adélaïde Ferrière
      Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark