George Gershwin

Fascinatin' Rhythm, song (from Lady, Be Good!, musical)

    Description by Anne Feeney

    This is one of Gershwin's most enduring songs, one which combines a catchy melody and clever lyrics with fascinating musical complexities. It is both polyrhythmic and polymetric (the accompaniment and melody often follow different rhythms and are in different meters), and full of off-beat accents, but surprisingly enough, there are many moments when at least one part is in the standard, plain vanilla meter of 4/4.

    The melodic line, while always logical, never random, changes at just the moment when the listener has grasped a particular pattern, forcing his or her concentration, and as often as not, leading to the result that the singer is complaining about, a rhythmic pattern is stuck in his or her head. To test just how insinuating this song is, try listening to it, and then speaking the lyrics in a normal speech pattern, without using the song's accents; the odds are you'll find it nearly impossible!

    In 1970, George Balanchine used it in his Gershwin ballet, "Who cares?," and it was one of that show's biggest hits.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2018 Harmonia Mundi HMX 290892037
    2018 Oehms Classics OC 019
    2017 Digressione Music DIGR 46
    2016 Bene Arte / Signum Classics SIGCD 903
    2014 Bridge BCD 9430
    2014 Deutsche Grammophon
    2013 Albany Music Distribution TROY 1414
    2012 Channel Classics CCS SA 33312
    2012 Aca Digital CM 20031
    2012 Warner Classics 678298
    2011 Urania WS 121132
    2010 EnF / EnF Records 1206
    2010 Harmonia Mundi 907492
    2010 Palm Records / Zebralution
    2009 EMI Classics / EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 5099969853
    2009 Denon Records
    2009 Koch Classics 7772
    2009 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099926413
    2008 Madacy Entertainment 53759
    2008 Madacy / Madacy Entertainment 53760
    2008 Altissimo 7329
    2008 Virgin Classics 22101
    2008 Virgin Classics 562458
    2008 Guild Light Music 5148
    2007 On Music / On Records 7488
    2007 Scandinavian Classics 220545205
    2007 Ryko Distribution / Ryko / Rykodisc RCD 10913
    2007 Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 741
    2007 Crystal Records Dist. 834
    2006 Zah Zah ZZCD 9821
    2006 Oehms Classics / Oehms 554
    2006 Endeavour 1018
    2006 Landor Records 277
    2006 Rhino 73192
    2005 Labor Records 7059
    2005 Quartz QTZ 2005
    2005 Centaur Records 2705
    2005 EMI Music Distribution 5850812
    2005 Virgin Classics 562481-2
    2005 Fleur de Son 57971
    2004 Sony Classical 93018
    2004 Avid AVC 537
    2004 EMI Classics / EMI Music Distribution 5862302
    2004 Primarily A Cappella 4530
    2004 Dutton Vocalion / Vocalion 8110
    2004 Scotdisc 706
    2003 Collectables 230
    2003 Sony Classical S2K 89913
    2002 ASV / ASV/Living Era CDAJA 5422
    2001 Eroica Distribution 3048
    2001 Centaur Records 2249
    2001 Original Cast / First Night 6013
    2000 Magnum Collectors / TKO Magnum CECD 021
    2000 Sony Music Distribution 89139
    2000 Prism Entertainment 437
    1999 Hyperion 55006
    1999 Classico 235
    1999 EMI Classics / Angel Records 73380
    1999 Collectables 5886
    1999 Town Hall 46
    1999 EMI Music Distribution 72527
    1999 La Ma De Guido 51
    1998 Carlton Classics 01297
    1998 IMP Classics 6702739
    1998 Materiali 90102
    1998 Avid 639
    1998 Delta Distribution / Yamaha Artists Series 30510
    1998 Centaur Records CRC 2322
    1997 Valley Entertainment 15019
    1996 Doyen 24
    1996 Carlton 70063
    1996 Showtunes 1929
    1996 Carlton 372
    1996 Memoir Classics 501
    1995 Pearl GEMMCD 9201
    1995 Avid 520
    1995 Silva Treasury 3007
    1995 Koch Classics 322040
    1994 Madacy CLJ2-5646
    1994 Pearl GEMMCD 9483
    1994 Sony Classical 64060
    1994 MusicMasters 65120
    1994 Bainbridge 1051
    1993 Musicmasters / MusicMasters 67104
    1993 Mercury 434327
    1993 Vanguard 6002
    1993 Newport Classic 85557
    1993 White Line / ASV / ASV/Living Era CDWHL 2074
    1992 Madacy 5646
    1991 London/Decca Argo / Argo ZH-444-457
    1991 Naxos 550341
    Summit Records 1004
    Ades 140942
    Mastersound 214
    Sony Classical Essential Classics 60648
    Arabesque 6802
    Pearl 9617
    RPO 9002
    Stradivari 6039
    IMP Classics 6700632
    Bolshoi/BMG
    Sony Music Distribution 61989
    Koch 7028
    Smithsonian Records 107
    RST Records 91592
    EMI Classics / EMI Music Distribution 7692182
    Windham Hill Records 10132
    Brassjar 2
    Fone 9016
    Nonesuch
    GRP 2005
    Guild Light Music GLCD 5219
    Music Club Records 183
    EMI Classics / EMI Music Distribution 5570492
    Aurophon Records 31484
    Soundscreen 5151