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Porgy and Bess

(19 Posts)
TriciaF Mon 12-Jun-17 18:29:05

I've always loved the songs from this opera - especially Summertime, which everyone knows. I found various versions on youtube, including one from 1935 of George Gershwin talking and singing (a little) and early vocals.
Here's a more recent one of another of my favourite songs:
Tears streaming!
I just found out that it was performed in Regents Park last week - wish I could have been there.
Anyone else a Gershwin fan?

Greyduster Mon 12-Jun-17 18:38:23

Love Porgy and Bess - it is big in my piano repertoire. It is the one musical I can play most of the songs from, my favourites being "Can't Help Loving That Man of Mine" and "Only Make Believe". He wrote some wonderful stuff. Another of my great favourites is "Strike up the Band". Some years ago I went to the Albert Hall to see the Schools Prom and there was a band called The Burton Ferrars Wind Band that played this and brought the audience to its feet. It raises the hairs on the back of my neck to think about it! And how about "Walking the dog"?

Luckygirl Mon 12-Jun-17 19:02:26

It is a truly wonderful opera. The only time I get really steamed up about it is when a soprano sings Summertime in full operatic mode - it really grates on me. It is a lullaby FGS! - a tender, sad and brave lullaby by a mother in the depths of poverty.

TriciaF Mon 12-Jun-17 21:07:00

Greyduster good for you if you can play those tunes. I had a phase about 15 years ago, trying to play Gershwin on the piano. First I bought a book which was technically impossible for me, then a simplified one - managed a few slow ones (How long has this been going on? , Who Cares? Some Day he'll come along).I've heard Walking the Dog but can't play it. Can't play anything much now, arthritis. And laziness.
Luckygirl that first link has an opera singer singing Summertime - I agree, it doesn't sound right. Ella Fitzgerald sings it better, imo.

Anniebach Mon 12-Jun-17 21:32:44

Ella sings everything better than anyone.๐Ÿ˜€

For me it must be Gershwins 'Rhapsody .in Blue' he didn't write songs to equal Jerome Kern in my opinion but Porgy and Bess is wonderful,

Greyduster Mon 12-Jun-17 22:13:47

Of course it would help if I didn't get my musicals mixed up and you are all obviously too polite to tell me that the ones I play come from Showboat which, of course is Kern blush and not Gershwin. I do like Gershwin though ๐Ÿ˜Š. Maurice Ravel was one of his greatest admirers apparently.

Anniebach Mon 12-Jun-17 22:22:42

Aw Greyduster, so easy to get their work mixed up, I am mad about Showboat ๐Ÿ˜€

Howard Keel phew . They were geniuses , we still love their music ๐Ÿ˜€

Swanny Mon 12-Jun-17 22:41:11

Porgy and Bess is fantastic. Rhapsody in Blue is spine-chilling. Ella Fitzgerald is unbelievable. Jerome Kern and others of his era are timeless. So much beautiful music in the world isn't heard enough. I know each generation says 'they don't write songs like they used to do' but not so much remains of the songs of the '70s onwards as does that of the '30 and '40s (IMO!) Yes, great artistes still appear occasionally but I am sad for today's youngsters that they have limited opportunity to hear the classic 'pop' music of the last hundred years.

Nelliemoser Mon 12-Jun-17 22:51:30

Luckygirl I agree about the singing of something like Porgy and Bess in full operatic mode. It needs a good voice but not grand opera style.
Vis Ms Ferrier singing Blow the wind southerly which is really a folk song.

Anniebach Mon 12-Jun-17 22:53:30

I so agree Swanny

janeainsworth Mon 12-Jun-17 23:18:34

Yes, absolutely love Rhapsody in Blue.
Agree with you Swanny, and it's nice to hear artists from our era (Bryan Ferry, Rod Stewart) recording songs of the 30's, 40's and 50's.

Morgana Mon 12-Jun-17 23:35:46

Remember seeing the film of P. And Bess (stupid phone won't let me type the P. word). I went with my sister and remember being upset and crying. And that was in the days when i wasnt so emotional!

Greyduster Tue 13-Jun-17 08:58:43

I went to one of Sir Willard White's concerts and he sang "I Got Plenty O' Nothin' ". He has a wonderful voice. He also sang "Ol' Man River" (Showboat ๐Ÿ™„) which brought the house down. The popular songs that Gershwin wrote are a great joy and enduring, but it's a shame that Rhapsody in Blue is the only concert piece you really ever hear of his. He wrote some very good serious pieces - a piano concerto and the Cuban Overture, that don't get much of a hearing.

Jane10 Tue 13-Jun-17 13:44:21

An American in Paris is pretty good too!

Greyduster Tue 13-Jun-17 13:48:59

It is indeed!

Anniebach Tue 13-Jun-17 13:58:10

Rhapsody In Blue is rather like Handel's Messiah , something draws listeners to them even though the composers have given us so much more. Think of Vivaldi's Four Seasons , if you can! ๐Ÿ˜€

Greyduster Tue 13-Jun-17 14:38:51

I agree entirely with your sentiment, Annie but I try not to think about The
Four Seasons - it conjures up images of Nigel Kennedy ๐Ÿ˜ฃ and I have to go and lie down in a darkened room!

janeainsworth Tue 13-Jun-17 15:07:37

Greyduster grin I remember seeing a clip of Nigel Kennedy when he was about 15, talking in a posh, public school accent.
A far cry from his glottal stop grin

Anniebach Tue 13-Jun-17 15:13:51

Greyduster grin