This has been a good thread and I just read through all the posts again. It's been thought provoking mainly getting me to self examine where do I fit in to this topic? After all I am not a compulsive music buyer. Maybe at one time in my 20's, yes. But as I grew more discriminating I would look at a purchase & ask myself if I thought I would still want to listen to it 10 years later. If not it went back on the shelf. Being in the 7th decade of living on this planet I have shortened that test to maybe 5 years....
And I am not a completeist. Of all the bands I enjoy I have a complete set of only one: Klaatu. And that's pretty easy since they only had 5 prime albums. Now I have Crime of the Century on LP, CD, and Blu-ray Audio but only 2, total Supertramp albums.
Then it hit me: Rhapsody in Blue. Sometime in the late 80's my wife & I saw a stage performance at a local venue called Starlight Theater:
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It's not huge, seats only about 7K. But the architecture & aesthetics are wonderful. We had a seat by the orchestra pit. Positioned almost perfectly centered left/right. And close enough to hear good details of the instruments direct sound but far back enough the slight echoes from the semi-sheltered walkways blended perfectly.
The Kansas City Philharmonic was playing and part of the warm up music was Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. I was in musical heaven. A classic piece of music, indeed, Americana sounding better than I could have ever imagined. I don't remember what play we saw, just that beautiful selection of music.
So I started actively seeking out recordings that could duplicate as close as possible to that experience. Because of this thread I started digging through my collection of purchases made because of Rhapsody. I found a bakers dozen, 13 of of' em. Maybe there's another one somewhere. I might re-listen to some but I finally gave up on my search because none of them came close to matching the arrangement, tempo, musical detail, or soundfield presentation of that night. Heck I really had my hopes up for an LP with Michael Tilson Thomas & the original Gershwin piano rolls. But that tempo was so much faster and the instruments behind it didn't really contribute they way they should. The others were variably good but failed to capture the magic I was looking for. And nothing in my surround sound bag 'o tricks really sounded "live" either.
So there ya go. If anyone has some suggestions to check out with Rhapsody in Blue, ok sure, I'd give it another try!
Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue (1924 jazz-band version, orch. Grofé). 1 Piano Concerto in F. 2 "Summertime." 3 Gershwin-Wild: "Somebody Loves Me," "I Got Rhythm," "Embraceable You."4 Oscar Levant: "Blame It On My Youth." 5 Kirill Gerstein, piano; 15 Storm Large, vocal; 3 Gary Burton, vibraphone; 5...