George Gershwin

Biography

Born: 1898   Died: 1937   Country: USA   Period: 20th Century
In a career tragically cut short in mid-stride by a brain tumor, George Gershwin (1898-1937) proved himself to be not only one of the great songwriters of his extremely rich era, but also a gifted "serious" composer who bridged the worlds of classical and popular music. The latter is all the more striking, given that, of his contemporaries, Gershwin was the most influenced by such styles as jazz and blues.

Gershwin's first
Read more major hit, interpolated into the show Sinbad in 1919, was "Swanee," sung by Al Jolson. Gershwin wrote both complete scores and songs for such variety shoes as George White's Scandals (whose annual editions thus were able to introduce such songs as "I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise" and "Somebody Loves Me").

After 1924, Gershwin worked primarily with his brother Ira as his lyricist. The two scored a series of Broadway hits in the '20s and early '30s, starting with Lady Be Good (1924), which included the song "Fascinatin' Rhythm." 1924 was also the year Gershwin composed his first classical piece, "Rhapsody in Blue," and he would continue to work in the classical field until his death.

By the '30s, the Gershwins had turned to political topics and satire in response to the onset of the Depression, and their Of Thee I Sing became the first musical to win a Pulitzer Prize. In the mid '30s, Gershwin ambitiously worked to meld his show music and classical leanings in the creation of the folk opera Porgy and Bess, with lyrics by Ira and Dubose Heyward. The Gershwins had moved to Hollywood and were engaged in several movie projects at the time of George Gershwin's death. Read less
Gershwin: Porgy & Bess / Owens, Mitchell, SF Opera
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Euroarts  
Catalog: 2059638   Number of Discs: 2
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Gershwin, Ravel, Debussy / O'Riley, Wordsworth, Royal PO
Release Date: 08/11/2009   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28050   Number of Discs: 1
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Gershwin: Porgy & Bess / Zambello, Owens, Mitchell, Lynch [blu-ray]
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Euroarts  
Catalog: 2059634   Number of Discs: 1
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Gershwin: Rhapsody In Blue, Concerto In F / Katia & Marielle Labeque
Release Date: 07/27/2010   Label: Newton Classics  
Catalog: 8802004   Number of Discs: 1
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Dvorak: Violin Concerto; Gershwin: An American In Paris / Liza Ferschtman, Mario Venzago
Release Date: 02/14/2012   Label: Challenge  
Catalog: 72530   Number of Discs: 1
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There are 1,041 George Gershwin recordings available.

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