You cannot get away with rendering Gershwin without pondering each tune deeply here. You simply cannot bang these tunes out as one usually hears otherwise its indulgences no one cares about. Georgy Boy had too much talent, and a deep gift for building constructing a tune, where it goes and that comes to be implanted in ones consciousness long before you bring your lover home. So Finnissy here you can tell, has thought about these tunes, played them himself as improvisations, and that's what this is here written out for posterity. They are not as if George would have played them, Gershwin if you ever heard him live tended to get as much resonance out of the piano as possible, fast furious syncopations abounding. Here the approach, the aesthetic is more subtle,more subdued, and Finnissy takes great leaps of chances into the unknown, for the tunes are what they are, you cannot mess with them without doing irreparable damage circumventing their idle escapist message. The Thirties when they (the tunes) were born was no place to live, it was Adorno who said, Bread,Film, The Bomb all else is/was extranneous to the politic to the state of the globe with the rise of fascism not only in Europe but in the Good ol USA.
Take "Swanee" here it is a bustling rambling tune, building to incredulous frenzy, but here it is as if we are hearing it in a dream sequence, very gentile, simpatico. Like "Fidgety Feet" is rendered quite tame going for the beauty of chords. Finnissy makes you think about the tune musically,for we don't know the context, and that wouldn't help anyways.Finnissy remains a tonal composer things need to have direction for him to circumvent the proceedings at times.He needs to have a large apllette of piano resonance as well, textures, convolutions that cross the atonal and tonal realms. "Wait a Bit Susie" is pretty straighforward with ample interesting syncopation. as "Limehouse Nights" here we descend are plunged into the depths of the piano.This is like an extended/distended nocturne.
Hodges here has a better grasp of the gestural sensitivities, the import and content of the tunes than the previous recording Metier CD of Ian Pace. I found that disk rather timid and un-inspired. I have had a chance to listen again and I found discovered more here than usually meets the ear firstly.
You come away from this music with a deep sense of the fascinations for simple melodies and where they can be takened,what situations they can be placed in how something happens a synergy of sorts. The problem now is that I simply cannot experience a Gershwin tune by itself it is far to simplistic and common, it needs something, an interpretation.