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The commission, plus the "innocents abroad" program of the piece, was the deciding factor, I would guess—the Dvorak was also originally premiered by the NY Phil. (Lohengrin? No idea what that was doing there.) Besides, never underestimate the power of satirizing the French for creating common ground. (I thought the Gershwin was a good choice emotionally, but it might have been interesting for the Phil to bring some Duke Ellington, which I remember them doing a halfway-decent job of on some "Great Performances" broadcast a few years back.)

Me, I even think the "Second Rhapsody" is a better piece than "Rhapsody in Blue"—but I have yet to meet anyone who agrees with me.

Robert Gable

Ellington would be a good choice. Hadn't thought of that.

The Second Rhapsody is better than An American in Paris, but that's as far as I will go.

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