The first time I heard Rhapsody in Blue I was probably 7. My dad had recently brought home a CD player and one of the first CDs we owned was Levant plays Gershwin. I would lay on the floor of the living room listening to that piece of music over and over completely entranced.I don’t remember my mom ever complaining. Now as a mom I can imagine that if your young child wants to spend her time listening to art in your living room you do whatever needs to be done to encourage her in that pursuit.

There are few pieces that rival Rhapsody in Blue for their ability to fire the imagination and tell a story. The miracle is that the story changes each time you hear the song. Whatever is on your mind fits seamlessly in and becomes a more jazzy, jaunty, romantic version of itself. I think it would be amazing to play that song to a class of writing students as their intro and see what comes of it.

23 years on from that first listen I still thrill to those long intro notes every single time. What a glorious piece of art.

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