American pianist Andrew von Oeyen is in love with Paris and French music. He has chosen to record three pieces which are, he says, at the crossroads of the two countries: Saint-Saëns Concerto No. 2, Ravel’s Concerto in G and Gershwin’s Second Rhapsody. He is accompanied by the excellent Prague Philharmonia conducted by Emmanuel Villaume. The Concerto No. 2 of Saint-Saëns’ is — rightfully so — the most famous of the five he wrote, archetypal of the post-romantic concerto: well constructed, with pleasant, musical themes. In the Concerto of Ravel, highly influenced by jazz, Andrew von Oeyen reveals a very strong sensitivity and a perfect understanding of French music. His interpretation recalls the legendary one of Samson Francois. But what make this recording unique is Gershwin second rhapsody. This work, unfairly eclipsed by the Rhapsody in Blue, which was written seven years earlier, is almost never played in France. In fact, its pianism is much more elaborate than the previous Rhapsody, from which only the form but not the musical themes are inspired: strong rhytmic sections framing a rubato section. Run to listen to it.