Song of the Day #460
Song of the Day: Rhapsody in Blue is one of George Gershwin's finest jazz-influenced orchestral compositions. It was initially commissioned by Paul Whiteman's band in 1924, with Gershwin himself on piano (scroll down here to listen to that version). Also listen to an audio clip here of a version recorded by André Previn and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. An Andre Kostelanetz recording of this piece (audio clip here) inspired a young Alex Steinweiss to come up with a classic album cover depicting "a small piano under a small street lamp, with a huge silhouette of a city skyline towering behind," as David Hinckley reports. Steinweiss, who hailed from Brooklyn, New York, practically invented album cover art. He also designed another famed album cover for an Oscar Levant recording of this immortal Gershwin composition (see here).