This is as close as you’ll get to hearing an original performance of Rhapsody In Blue, by George Gershwin, backed by Paul Whiteman’s orchestra – unless you’re Doctor Who!
In 1976, what they did was to take his piano roll – then painstakingly cover over all the little dots that pertained to the (double-tracked) piano reduction of the orchestra part (must’ve driven someone DOTTY).
Then they obtained the original Ferdinand Grofe score from the Library Of Congress – and a bunch of period instruments.
And having done all of this, they went to a recording studio – where the orchestra did its damnedest to keep up with GEORGE (there are a couple of places where they didn’t QUITE manage it!)
We must assume they put the roll on at the correct speed (BLOODY fast, in the Twenties!) so what they ended up with was not only George playing the piano part – but since the orchestra had to match George’s piano reduction of THEIR part – phrasing and all – it’s kinda like George was playing ALL the parts!
So if you’ve only ever heard the lush, stately “symphonic” version of this piece – prepare for a piece of Roaring Twenties MAYHEM!