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behind the music

December 07, 2012

behind the music

LACO principal clarinetist Joshua Ranz dives into performing the famous opening glissando in Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with KUSC’s Brian Lauritzen.

A well known musical phrase, the glissando is an often-requested technique by clarinet students, and one that manages to make even the most established performer nervous before a concert.

Famously, the glissando was not written in the original score by Gershwin. Rather, the story goes, the clarinetist in Paul Whiteman’s orchestra, Ross Gorman, was playing around in a rehearsal with the original scale Gershwin wrote for the piece. The composer enjoyed Gorman’s glissando so much he requested the player include it in the debut performance.

Learn more about this famous piece in LACO’s latest podcast. Click here to listen in.

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