When it's good, television can floor you
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:
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.
gives way to the program, and the camera pans down it as the narrator
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.
George Gershwin Remembered. Coming soon to a PBS station
near you. Watch it.