I played the “Little Rhapsody In Blue” at my one and only piano recital years and years ago. I wouldn’t DARE try an original version....lol
Denis Agay has a very nice “little” Rhapsody in Blue that recaps the main themes. It is only four pages long and is appropriate for a Third Year Student, ranging through three different keys with nice transitions. So far, two of my students have done this piece in recital.
I am actually a rock musician, and teach a very intuitive method of playing. I have had many students ask for “R_I_B” way before they are ready for it, as well as “Fur Elise”. For some reason, those two pieces appeal to Rock musicians!
Here is a Bio of Denis Agay, my favorite “RE-Composer”:
Denes Agay, who is best known for his teaching collections, anthologies and texts for piano study, began playing piano at age 3. Born and raised in a small village near Budapest, Hungary, Agay went on to earn his doctorate in piano composition and performance at Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest in 1934. His father was doubtful that anyone could make a living in the music business, but success was apparent when Agay conducted the Budapest Philharmonic in a performance of a symphony he had composed. Agay also composed and orchestrated music for film.
With the rise of Nazism, Agay left Hungary and moved to New York in 1939 to become an American citizen. In 1942 he enlisted in the army, where he entertained patients in the hospital ward and eventually earned the rank of sergeant. After the war, Agay began teaching, composing, and publishing, in addition to working as the conductor and arranger on the NBC radio show “Guest Star.” One of Agay’s most successful piano series is “The Young Pianist’s Library” that covers a variety of styles and levels.
(No WONDER I love him!)