Tuesday, September 1, 2015

By George!


This is my post from this week's Tuesday Blog.

No. 79 of the ongoing ITYWLTMT series of audio montages can be found in our archives at http://archive.org/details/InMemoriamGeorgeGershwin




Much of my activities this month (see the “teaser” below) are commemorating the World Premiere of George Gershwin’s folk opera Porgy and Bess, which celebrates its 80th anniversary this year. In a couple of weeks, I will be sharing something specific on that opera on the Tuesday Blog, but this week we dip into the Podcast Vault, and recycle an all-Gershwin program.

The bulk of the montage provides a series of adaptations and settings of some of Gershwin’s famous tunes, going from virtuoso etudes by Earl Wild to jazz adaptations by Benny Goodman and Miles Davis. The latter, from his Porgy and Bess concept album, will get further discussion in a couple of weeks.

Two tracks feature Gershwin as a pianist, both in-person and virtually. According to an article by Jack Gibbons for Piano Magazine , “by all contemporary accounts Gershwin’s piano playing was phenomenal; such legendary virtuoso pianists as Rachmaninov and Josef Hofmann were deeply impressed with the natural ease and inventiveness of his playing. […]The examples of his playing that have survived – including some electric recordings, recordings of radio broadcasts, two sound films, and a considerable number of piano rolls – reveal a youthfulness, a vigour, a 'pep' which guaranteed to make him the centre of attention at any social gathering.” 

We hear Gershwin play one of his three piano preludes, and from a vintage piano roll, Gershwin attacks his famous Rhapsody in Blue at a break-neck pace.

Happy Listening!

ITYWLTMT Montage #79 - In Memoriam - George Gershwin
(Originally published on Friday, 9 November 2012)

Royland Earl WILD (1915 –2010)
7 Virtuoso Etudes on Gershwin Songs (1973) - Selections
Earl Wild, piano

George GERSHWIN (1898-1937)
Prelude no. 2. in C-Sharp Minor
George Gershwin, piano

Strike Up the Band (From the Musical Comedy, 1927)
André Kostelanetz & His Orchestra

Facinating Rhythm (from Lady, Be Good!) / Someone To Watch Over Me (from Oh, Kay!, 1926)
Morton Gould (piano) & His Orchestra

Liza (All the Clouds'll Roll Away) (from Show Girl, 1929)
Benny Goodman (clarinet) & His Orchestra

Mine (from Let 'Em Eat Cake, 1933)
Dick Hyman, piano with uncredited accompaniment

They Can't Take That Away from Me (from Shall We Dance, 1937)
Charlie Parker (Saxophone) With Strings (Carnegie Hall 1950)

Porgy and Bess (1935)
Instrumental arrangements and sung selections

Overture & Medley
Russell Garcia & His Orchestra

Summertime
Oscar Peterson, piano
Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, double bass
Jake Hanna, drums

I Wants to Stay Here (a.k.a. I Loves You, Porgy)
Miles Davis – trumpet & flugelhorn
Gil Evans – musical director

Bess, You Is My Woman Now
Robert McFerrin & Adele Addison
MGM Studio Orchestra
Andre Previn, conducting

There's A Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon For New York
Cab Calloway 
MGM Studio Orchestra
Andre Previn, conducting

Blues (Arrangement of An American In Paris, 1928)
Harry James (trumpet) & His Orchestra

Rhapsody in Blue, for piano and jazz orchestra (1924)
George Gershwin, piano roll (Aeolian Company, 1925)
Columbia Jazz Band
Michael Tilson-Thomas, conducting