The George Gershwin Reader

The George Gershwin Reader

4.15 (13 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

George Gershwin is one of the giants of American music, unique in that he was both a brilliant writer of popular songs ("Swanee," "I Got Rhythm," "They Can't Take That Away From Me") and of more serious music, including "Rhapsody in Blue," "An American in Paris," and "Porgy and Bess." Now, in The George Gershwin Reader, music lovers are treated to a spectacular celebration of this great American composer. The Reader offers a kaleidoscopic collection of writings by and about Gershwin, including more than eighty pieces of superb variety, color, and depth. There is a who's who of famous commentators: bandleader Paul Whiteman; critics Robert Benchley, Alexander Woollcott, and Brooks Atkinson; fellow musicians Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Alec Wilder (who analyzes the songs "That Certain Feeling" and "A Foggy Day"), Leonard Bernstein, and the formidable modernist composer Arnold Schoenberg (who was Gershwin's tennis partner in Hollywood).
Some of the most fascinating and important writings here deal with the critical debate over Gershwin's concert pieces, especially "Rhapsody in Blue" and "An American in Paris," and there is a complete section devoted to the controversies over "Porgy and Bess," including correspondence between Gershwin and DuBose Hayward, the opera's librettist (a series of excerpts which illuminate the creative process), plus unique interviews with the original Porgy and Bess-Todd Duncan and Anne Brown. Sprinkled throughout the book are excerpts from Gershwin's own letters, which offer unique insight into this fascinating and charming man. Along with a detailed chronology of the composer's life, the editors provide informative introductions to each entry. Here then is a book for anyone interested in American music. Scholars, performers, and Gershwin's legions of fans will find it an irresistible feast.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 368 pages
  • 162.1 x 236.7 x 31.2mm | 644.11g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 20 music examples
  • 0195130197
  • 9780195130195

Review quote

"A fascinating collection of articles, biographical reminiscences, reviews, musical analyses, and letters relating to the life and music of George Gershwin." --Library Journal"How refreshing and exciting to see once again these surprises--and more--from the Gershwin scrapbooks, archives, private collections (some lost), in one cornucopia; the sweeping life of a wonderful great American master." --Edward Jablonski, historian, co-author of The Gershwin Years--George and Ira"From early in Gershwin's career his music challenged Americans to rethink their assumptions about composition and performance, nationalism, cultural hierarchy, and the racial divide. Documenting that rethinking process, Wyatt and Johnson's reader also illuminates the life and legacy of one of American music's most charismatic figures." --Richard Crawford, University of Michigan"A superb source book about a cornerstone figure in American Music...an indelible contribution to the very idea of American culture and how it got that way. Letters and pieces by Gershwin himself are prominent, but the book will go anywhere and everywhere to catch a glimpse of his raffish genius in the sunlight.... You get, then, Gershwin from many, if not all sides and seen through a huge variety of lenses."--Buffalo News "A fascinating collection of articles, biographical reminiscences, reviews, musical analyses, and letters relating to the life and music of George Gershwin." --Library Journal "How refreshing and exciting to see once again these surprises--and more--from the Gershwin scrapbooks, archives, private collections (some lost), in one cornucopia; the sweeping life of a wonderful great American master." --Edward Jablonski, historian, co-author of The Gershwin Years--George and Ira "From early in Gershwin's career his music challenged Americans to rethink their assumptions about composition and performance, nationalism, cultural hierarchy, and the racial divide. Documenting that rethinking process, Wyatt and Johnson's reader also illuminates the life and legacy of one of American music's most charismatic figures." --Richard Crawford, University of Michigan "A superb source book about a cornerstone figure in American Music...an indelible contribution to the very idea of American culture and how it got that way. Letters and pieces by Gershwin himself are prominent, but the book will go anywhere and everywhere to catch a glimpse of his raffish genius in the sunlight.... You get, then, Gershwin from many, if not all sides and seen through a huge variety of lenses."--Buffalo News "A fascinating collection of articles, biographical reminiscences, reviews, musical analyses, and letters relating to the life and music of George Gershwin." --Library Journal "How refreshing and exciting to see once again these surprises--and more--from the Gershwin scrapbooks, archives, private collections (some lost), in one cornucopia; the sweeping life of a wonderful great American master." --Edward Jablonski, historian, co-author of The Gershwin Years--George and Ira "From early in Gershwin's career his music challenged Americans to rethink their assumptions about composition and performance, nationalism, cultural hierarchy, and the racial divide. Documenting that rethinking process, Wyatt and Johnson's reader also illuminates the life and legacy of one of American music's most charismatic figures." --Richard Crawford, University of Michigan "A superb source book about a cornerstone figure in American Music...an indelible contribution to the very idea of American culture and how it got that way. Letters and pieces by Gershwin himself are prominent, but the book will go anywhere and everywhere to catch a glimpse of his raffish genius in the sunlight.... You get, then, Gershwin from many, if not all sides and seen through a huge variety of lenses."--Buffalo News "A fascinating collection of articles, biographical reminiscences, reviews, musical analyses, and letters relating to the life and music of George Gershwin." --Library Journal"How refreshing and exciting to see once again these surprises--and more--from the Gershwin scrapbooks, archives, private collections (some lost), in one cornucopia; the sweeping life of a wonderful great American master." --Edward Jablonski, historian, co-author of The Gershwin Years--George andIra"From early in Gershwin's career his music challenged Americans to rethink their assumptions about composition and performance, nationalism, cultural hierarchy, and the racial divide. Documenting that rethinking process, Wyatt and Johnson's reader also illuminates the life and legacy of one ofAmerican music's most charismatic figures." --Richard Crawford, University of Michigan"A superb source book about a cornerstone figure in American Music...an indelible contribution to the very idea of American culture and how it got that way. Letters and pieces by Gershwin himself are prominent, but the book will go anywhere and everywhere to catch a glimpse of his raffish genius inthe sunlight.... You get, then, Gershwin from many, if not all sides and seen through a huge variety of lenses."--Buffalo News
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About John Andrew Johnson

Robert Wyatt is a concert pianist and Gershwin authority who is now Executive Director of the Cape Cod Conservatory of Music. John Andrew Johnson is Assistant Professor of Musicology in the Department of Fine Arts at Syracuse University.
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Rating details

13 ratings
4.15 out of 5 stars
5 38% (5)
4 38% (5)
3 23% (3)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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