George Gershwin

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Tarantella
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George Gershwin

Post by Tarantella » Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:49 am

I've loved this composer since I was a teenager and have read just about every book ever written about him. I found this wonderful piece on the internet and wanted to share it. I'd be interested in what other people think of Gershwin and what is their favourite piece or work.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvKxtXzs ... ure=relmfu

Any special anecdotes about George would also be excellent.

Here's a small sample of what was to come for George - serious instrumental music - if only he had lived!! This prelude of his is charming, though somewhat rigid in the accompanying ostinato. It's as if he doesn't know what to do with it, because the melody is quite charming - but not 'free' enough to comfortably accommodate so rigid a bass line.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pNa6X_s3Rk

lennygoran
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Re: George Gershwin

Post by lennygoran » Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:33 am

Tarantella wrote:what is their favourite piece or work.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pNa6X_s3Rk
I like what I know of his works--didn't know about the preludes. My favorites--Rhapsody in Blue (for piano and orchestra, 1924)
Piano Concerto in F (1925)
An American in Paris (for orchestra, 1928)

Regards, Len

Tarantella
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Re: George Gershwin

Post by Tarantella » Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:04 am

These are perennial favourites for Gershwin fans. The love I bear for this composer is inextricably linked to "Porgy and Bess", of which I cherish every single bar. The musicals, many of which have been recorded over the last 20 years or so from the original arrangements, are full of great songs (if somewhat cheesy plots). St. Luke's Orchestra/Eric Stern have recorded, "Oh Kay" and "Pardon My English". The wit in these is quite lovely. And "Strike Up the Band" is full of superb tunes. (My father gave me $300 before he died so that I could buy as many of these 'restorations' as I could in his memory. A fitting gift). I still haven't found an ideal version of "Of Thee I sing" or "Crazy for You".

Here's very brief link from "Pardon My English" - I just love it!! Staatsoperette Dresden, what's more. There are lines like, "We're the Dresden Northwest Mounted and we always get our man...er...if we can"! What muscular music this is!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39Doyd3dupM

And here's "I Was So Young, You Were So Beautiful". An absolutely touching song, played on the piano minus lyrics. Notice the pictures while the song is being played - George with his arm around Irving Berlin. Yes, that's a buzz. Just look at dear George smiling, with the pipe sticking out of his mouth. I feel so sad when I think of the anecdote I read in Jablonski's biography that Ira's wife, Leonore (Strunsky) Gershwin, ordered George from the dinner table one evening because he clumsily kept dropping the cutlery. The poor man was in the end stage of a brain tumour and she sent him 'to his room' because of his dreadful 'table manners'. I still get a lump in my throat when I think of that!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_V4fJ5OlnKw

Lastly, Michael Tilson Thomas conducting the overture to "Of Thee I Sing"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjRHQmED ... re=related

lennygoran
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Re: George Gershwin

Post by lennygoran » Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:06 pm

Sue thanks for all the gershwin info-when we. Get back from new
Hampshire and I have a real pc I'll have to check this out.
Len from portsmouth nh
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Tarantella
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Re: George Gershwin

Post by Tarantella » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:47 pm

It looks ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!! What are you trying to do to this 'pretend (girl) gardener'? USA East Coast will have to wait a little longer as we plan to visit on route BACK from our next European sojourn. My sister keeps telling me, "Sue; you have to go to NY - go straight there please!" The whole east coast interests me and we have friends in West Virginia.

Thanks for the enticing picture. Here's another link of Gershwin's "Someone to Watch over Me" with the same pianist. Notice some new footage during this performance, combined with the same ones from the other link. What a personality that George was!! An extravert and loving his own music!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dckMqpo ... ure=relmfu

lennygoran
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Re: George Gershwin

Post by lennygoran » Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:11 am

Tarantella wrote:It looks ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!! What are you trying to do to this 'pretend (girl) gardener'? USA East Coast will have to wait a little longer as we plan to visit on route BACK from our next European sojourn. My sister keeps telling me, "Sue; you have to go to NY - go straight there please!" The whole east coast interests me and we have friends in West Virginia.

Thanks for the enticing picture. Here's another link of Gershwin's "Someone to Watch over Me" with the same pianist. Notice some new footage during this performance, combined with the same ones from the other link. What a personality that George was!! An extravert and loving his own music!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dckMqpo ... ure=relmfu
Sue nyc,philadephia,boston,etc-there's so much to see! Len

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Re: George Gershwin

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:12 pm

Good choice to put this on the films board. Some people think Gershwin was a classical composer, some think he was a popular composer, some think he was both. To avoid a dispute, putting him here, where we can all agree that there are at least two movies based on his music, is a great idea. :)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Tarantella
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Re: George Gershwin

Post by Tarantella » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:40 pm

IMO, he was the ultimate popular composer who tried 'cross-over' but didn't live long enough for that to bare fruit. I would put "Porgy and Bess" in the category of operatic musical theatre (I made that up!). What a composer!!

Here's an interesting piece - Ira talking about George and George's voice briefly heard too: what I find interesting is the 'trans-Atlantic' accent. In the space of 75 years the American accent has changed considerably and we have the recordings to demonstrate this, although you could still hear the 'Brooklyn' in George's voice, IMO. Listening to languages and accents is a bit like musical appreciation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hc0xLcrg ... re=related

lennygoran
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Re: George Gershwin

Post by lennygoran » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:43 am

Tarantella wrote:IMO, he was the ultimate popular composer who tried 'cross-over' but didn't live long enough for that to bare fruit. I would put "Porgy and Bess" in the category of operatic musical theatre (I made that up!). What a composer!!

Here's an interesting piece - Ira talking about George and George's voice briefly heard too: what I find interesting is the 'trans-Atlantic' accent. In the space of 75 years the American accent has changed considerably and we have the recordings to demonstrate this, although you could still hear the 'Brooklyn' in George's voice, IMO. Listening to languages and accents is a bit like musical appreciation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hc0xLcrg ... re=related

Same with me-even after so many years of living in nj you can still
Hear the Brooklyn! :D

Tarantella
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Re: George Gershwin

Post by Tarantella » Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:48 am

We had a US casual teacher at school one time - a huge man with a love of music and life. We played musical quizzes in the staffroom (much to the chagrin of my colleagues). I said, "I bet I can trace your accent to within 20km of where you came from". He said, "Ok, go ahead". And I started around Washington and, jokingly, worked my way up to New York and then finally said, "Brooklyn". He was incredulous and laughed heartily, "How did you know?" I said, "the moment you open your mouth it's a dead give-away!" I find it fascinating trying to 'source' people from their language, dialects (difficult) and accents. When in Vienna I immediately detected that Austrian German was very different from German German (and there are differences in that country too!). The Austrians have a decidedly 'eastern' European lilt to their German!! It's very obvious. And, of course, the Swiss hardly speak German at all - so laden with their own dialects and idioms is their language. And I didn't detect any particular "Jewishness" in the Gershwin tapes I posted either. (Compare that to the Marx Brothers and Woody Allen!!) The Marx Brothers lived very close to the 'Gershowitz' (I think it was originally) family.

And Professor Higgins said, "The French don't care what they do actually - as long as they pronounce it properly"!!

lennygoran
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Re: George Gershwin

Post by lennygoran » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:21 am

Tarantella wrote:We had a US casual teacher at school one time - a huge man with a love of music and life. We played musical quizzes in the staffroom (much to the chagrin of my colleagues). I said, "I bet I can trace your accent to within 20km of where you came from". He said, "Ok, go ahead". And I started around Washington and, jokingly, worked my way up to New York and then finally said, "Brooklyn". He was incredulous and laughed heartily, "How did you know?" I said, "the moment you open your mouth it's a dead give-away!" I find it fascinating trying to 'source' people from their language, dialects (difficult) and accents. When in Vienna I immediately detected that Austrian German was very different from German German (and there are differences in that country too!). The Austrians have a decidedly 'eastern' European lilt to their German!! It's very obvious. And, of course, the Swiss hardly speak German at all - so laden with their own dialects and idioms is their language. And I didn't detect any particular "Jewishness" in the Gershwin tapes I posted either. (Compare that to the Marx Brothers and Woody Allen!!) The Marx Brothers lived very close to the 'Gershowitz' (I think it was originally) family.

And Professor Higgins said, "The French don't care what they do actually - as long as they pronounce it properly"!!
Between my accent and my mispronunciations you'd have a field day!
Len still in new hampshire

Tarantella
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Re: George Gershwin

Post by Tarantella » Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:11 pm

Mispronunciation? Mr. Malapropism!! Are you assuming your new identity because you are in NH?

You're only managing tiny messages on the board - I'm reminded of Gershwin:

"My nights were sour,
Spent with Schopenhauer"!

lennygoran
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Re: George Gershwin

Post by lennygoran » Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:07 pm

Tarantella wrote:Mispronunciation? Mr. Malapropism!! Are you assuming your new identity because you are in NH?

You're only managing tiny messages on the board - I'm reminded of Gershwin:

"My nights were sour,
Spent with Schopenhauer"!
Yeah definitely shorter-did gershwin have to put up with clumsy samsung droids!
The scenery on this trip remains breath-taking!
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Len

Tarantella
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Re: George Gershwin

Post by Tarantella » Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:51 pm

So that's where Robinson Crusoe ended up!! Seems the best real estate was to be gained by being shipwrecked. Len, you left your new, blue bucket by the water's edge!!

I saw a documentary recently by Niall Ferguson where he talked about the early east coast settlers and how they developed the idea of owning their own plots of land. Ferguson maintained this was one of the fundamental success stories of the early development of the 'colony' of the USA!! He was comparing your country with the colonization of South America and how things went fundamentally differently because of freehold land ownership. (Doesn't mention the indigenous people though). I thought it was an interesting, albeit now ironic, thesis.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjS2Bqto_7E

An Aussie is singing this!!

lennygoran
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Re: George Gershwin

Post by lennygoran » Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:30 am

Sue I think I saw that show on pbs-very good footage from places
All around the world. We explorde Mass coastal locations yesterday
But we're back in NH today for obama and romney-they'll both be
Here today to try to get my vote! Len
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Tarantella
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Re: George Gershwin

Post by Tarantella » Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:30 am

Have been keeping up-to-date with all that on the PBS "Newshour", with Mark Shields and David Brooks, Gwen, Ray and the others. Watch it every night.

That picture is so English-looking!! I'll have to look on Google maps to see where you are, as I don't quite know NH.

lennygoran
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Re: George Gershwin

Post by lennygoran » Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:54 am

Tarantella wrote:Have been keeping up-to-date with all that on the PBS "Newshour", with Mark Shields and David Brooks, Gwen, Ray and the others. Watch it every night.

That picture is so English-looking!! I'll have to look on Google maps to see where you are, as I don't quite know NH.
Surprised to hear you get that american show in australia?
BTW the town is newburyport in Massachussetts-lovely!

2 days ago we were in george bush senior country-kennebunkport-
Came upon this sign to keep parkers honest.
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Tarantella
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Re: George Gershwin

Post by Tarantella » Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:00 pm

I'd like to see them get away with that here?! I guess it's a joke, right? Good one, though. And I'm intrigued about all those unusual place names - are these mostly Dutch in origin? Or native American? Pardon my English....er....ignorance!

We watch "News Hour" on our 'international' network, SBS, and this includes Deutsch Welle and their news (also a vast number from other countries, eg. Aljezeera!). Ich mag Deutsch Nachrichten (taglich) fur mein Deutsch sprechen! (Das ist nicht so gut!)

I've been listening to "Strike up the Band". Here's a link from my own version of it, which happens to be on U-Tube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_ompeycwaU

Gotta love that George!! Those melodies!! "The Man I Love" - heaven!

Here's a song from "Pardon my English" (same version as I have) and this one is "Loreley". It's based on the legend of the Lorelei, the statue of which sits on the banks of the Rhine River, in Germany, and which also is the subject of a beautiful lied by Schubert (we passed this statue in 2009 on our Rhine/Danube journey to Budapest):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ty5Nu79m9U

It's a clever incorporation into a musical about "Dresden", and very satirical. Wow! How things changed in 1939!

lennygoran
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Re: George Gershwin

Post by lennygoran » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:32 pm

Sue I'm not good on language but today we shifted from
Seacoast to lake and mountain scenery-still waterfront dining
At NH largest lake-check out this indian name-lake winnipesaukee-
Romney is a resident of one of its towns-wolfeboro-one of the oldest resorts in
America. Len
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Tarantella
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Re: George Gershwin

Post by Tarantella » Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:07 pm

Is that you and Sue? How lovely it looks!! Reminds me a little of Wurthersee in Klagenfurt, Austria.

That name definitely sounds native American too!!

lennygoran
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Re: George Gershwin

Post by lennygoran » Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:29 am

Tarantella wrote:Is that you and Sue? How lovely it looks!! Reminds me a little of Wurthersee in Klagenfurt, Austria.

That name definitely sounds native American too!!

No that was a couple up in the area for a wedding-they were
Doing it up right with a bottle of wine-we had a drive ahead so
Stuck to coffee-we went on to the charming old village of
Newfane NH and then through vermont's green mountains.
Len

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Tarantella
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Re: George Gershwin

Post by Tarantella » Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:06 am

Oh, that is absolutely marvellous!! I can't wait to visit your country and I will show these pictures to my sister who is headed to NY. We have to sell our house before we can travel again because we have 1 acre of intensively landscaped property with a large house and, though it is irrigated, the wind only has to change and all shrubs and trees will die in this harsh country of ours. (The irrigation system frequently bursts and floods!) And it's such maintenance for my husband!! We are prisoners here waiting for the real estate market to 'turn'!! That is why we want an apartment so we can lock up and run, like "Len, on the run"!! Er, or, in the car..

lennygoran
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Re: George Gershwin

Post by lennygoran » Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:12 pm

Sue if your sister is staying in manhattan tell her to bring plenty
Of money! On the money matter I'm furious romney didn't invite
Us to dinner when we were in his current town of wolfeboro!
Len :)
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Tarantella
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Re: George Gershwin

Post by Tarantella » Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:20 pm

My sister has been there many times before and, with the high Aussie dollar, she actually said it's cheaper to eat and shop over there than in Sydney! Of course, the accommodation is expensive - but, what the heck?!

lennygoran
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Re: George Gershwin

Post by lennygoran » Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:47 pm

Tarantella wrote:My sister has been there many times before and, with the high Aussie dollar, she actually said it's cheaper to eat and shop over there than in Sydney! Of course, the accommodation is expensive - but, what the heck?!
Cheaper-you've destroyed me. We get on nyc hotel
Elevators with scandanavians-they say the same thing.
Len :(

Tarantella
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Re: George Gershwin

Post by Tarantella » Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:59 pm

Oh, but they love you all over there just as we all do!! :D

Have you ever been to Scandinavia? Wunderbah!

lennygoran
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Re: George Gershwin

Post by lennygoran » Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:18 am

Tarantella wrote:Oh, but they love you all over there just as we all do!! :D

Have you ever been to Scandinavia? Wunderbah!
Yes many years ago and it was great--too expensive for us now. Regards, Len :(

Tarantella
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Re: George Gershwin

Post by Tarantella » Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:20 pm

My sister will be in NYC on Friday and she's booked to see Michael Feinstein (again). Gershwin et al. Ooh la-la.

lennygoran
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Re: George Gershwin

Post by lennygoran » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:11 pm

Tarantella wrote:My sister will be in NYC on Friday and she's booked to see Michael Feinstein (again). Gershwin et al. Ooh la-la.
Sounds very exciting! Len

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