George Gershwin

George Gershwin (1898-1937) is arguably the century´s greatest songwriter, admired and loved for hit songs such as ´The Man I Love´ and "S Wonderful´. He achieved early acclaim and riches from the song ´Swanee´ (1919) and was one of the first composers to realize the exciting potential of combining elements of jazz and popular song with the forms and instrumentation of symphonic music. In the wake of his successful concert pieces that followed the famous Rhapsody in Blue (1924), he was lauded by such classical luminaries as Schoenberg and Ravel. But critics quickly seized on the technical deficiencies of these larger-scale works, wounding the egocentric Gershwin, who was ever defensive about his lack of formal training. The enduring popularity of the concert pieces (among them An American in Paris) is nevertheless testimony to the appeal of wonderful melody and fascinating rhythm over structural perfection.Over the same period George, together with his lyricist brother Ira, produced a string of successful Broadway musicals, later working in Hollywood writing memorable songs for Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
But the single musical achievement for which Gershwin is remembered is the folk opera Porgy and Bess, a fusion of opera and theatre that emerges from the sounds of ragtime, blues and Negro spirituals. Sadly, Gershwin did not live to see its acceptance in the world´s greatest opera houses.

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  • Product code: 1077726
  • Barcode: 9780714847726
  • Release date: Jun 12, 2008
  • Author: Rodney Greenberg
  • Series: 20th Century Composers
  • Publishing company: Phaidon Press Ltd
  • Year of publication: 2008
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 0714847720
  • Book format: Paberback
  • Pages: 240
  • Size: 155x220

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