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A long-time champion of Gershwin and Bernstein in the concert hall and on disc, Wayne Marshall has been no less eloquent an advocate of the neglected art of improvisation. This vivacious compendium, an auspicious first CD from film makers Fugue State, combines both passions, freely reworking Broadway successes by both composers and Gershwin’s seminal Rhapsody in Blue, which is treated to a reading by turns intense and euphoric. Bernstein’s colourful Candide revels in Marshall’s infectiously ebullient treatment, while West Side Story is afforded deserved operatic gravity, and the Wonderful Town Overture is deliciously effervescent. An extended, enchantingly poetic meditation on ‘People’ from Jule Styne’s Funny Girl is a delightful bonus.

MICHAEL QUINN Read the full review on Agora Classica

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