Michael Finnissy plays two Gershwin Arrangements. Rare piano film





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Uploaded on Aug 29, 2010

Film of Michael Finnissy playing two of his Gershwin Arrangements: How long has this been going on, and They can't take that away from me. Recorded in Conway Hall London in March 1989. A rare chance to see and hear this wonderful composer and pianist in action.

This is what an unknown reviewer wrote about Finnissy's Gershwin Arrangements when a CD of them came out a few years ago:
These two cycles of Gershwin arrangements contain some of Finnissy's best and most thought-provoking music played by one of his greatest advocates. Most of Finnissy's output contains pre-existing music, but those who only known works such as English Country-Tunes or Folklore may be surprised at how identifiable Gershwin's melodies are. Conversely, those who know little or nothing of Finnissy's music may be disconcerted initially by how far these pieces seem to stray at times from Gershwin. For the latter, it is worth remembering that Gershwin's songs have been treated as malleable material from the start of their existence. Most people think they know how 'Summertime' should go, but relatively few are thinking of the operatic original. Indeed, some of the more dissonant and daring arrangements for piano were in improvisations by Gershwin himself. Finnissy joins a long line of transcribers including, of course, figures from both trad and progressive jazz, as well as composers such as Grainger and Earl Wild. The emotions in Finnissy's arrangements are often as complex as the music is intricate, at one moment poignant, disturbing at the next, but always utterly compelling. Strongly recommended.

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