Alex (yakshaver) wrote,
Alex
yakshaver

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The Magic of Television. No, really....

When it's good, television can floor you

Voice of narrator, as stills from the 20s of the AEolian Hall fill the screen: first an exterior, then interior... a full house....

The historic concert took place on February 12, 1924 at the AEolian Hall in New York. In the audience was a formidable array of social and artistic figures. Among them: Jascha Heifetz, Fritz Kreisler, Rachmaninoff, Leopold Stokowski, Stravinsky.

Here the picture of the crowded hall starts to crossfade with a newspaper ad, as the camera pans down it....

Called "An Experiment in Modern Music", the program was to present Jazz in all its various facets.

The ad gives way to the program, and the camera pans down it as the narrator resumes....

As the long program progressed, there were signs of restlessness — even boredom. After twenty-three numbers, almost at the end of the program, Gershwin strolled up to the piano, and sat down.

With the first opening wail of the clarinet solo, the audience sat up.....

Cue the scene of Paul Whiteman conducting Rhapsody in Blue from the 1945 Warner movie of the same name.... And.... I'm there. My spine straightens.... My breath catches... And I'm hearing that ... longing ... clarinet for the first time. Ever.


American Masters: George Gershwin Remembered. Coming soon to a PBS station near you. Watch it.

Tags: music, tv
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