A great performance by Yuja Wang, wonderfully photographed capturing all the major members of the orchestra. This bluesy jazz influenced work premiered in January 1932 with Ravel conducting the orchestra and Marguerite Long performing (the work is dedicated to her). It is said that Ravel was influenced by Jazz idioms which were popular in both Paris and the United States. Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue was premiered in 1924. Was Ravel influenced by Gershwin? Certainly there was some mutual admiration. They met in New York in 1928, Gershwin age 30, Ravel age 53. Gershwin supposedly asked Ravel about the possibility of studying with him… to which Ravel replied: “Why would you want to be a 2nd rate Ravel when you can be a 1st rate Gershwin?”
Ravel at the piano with Gershwin looking on.