Variations on “I Got Rhythm”

Premiered at Symphony Hall, Boston, on January 14, 1934.  Leo Reisman Orchestra, Charles Previn (conductor), George Gershwin (piano).

Composed as a showpiece for his 1934 tour celebrating the tenth anniversary of the first performance of RHAPSODY IN BLUE, Gershwin completed the VARIATIONS ON “I GOT RHYTHM” just days before the tour began.  In typical Gershwin mode, he was also beginning his work on PORGY AND BESS at this time, having recently spent some time with DuBose and Dorothy Heyward in Charleston. The VARIATIONS were dedicated to Ira and are a charming, if little-known, example of Gershwin’s work.