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Gershwin - Songs from the Shows & Overtures
This release of five new titles in the American Classics series is devoted to the music of George Gershwin.
Arguably the best-known of all 20th-century composers, George Gershwin's music encompasses with equal skill both the classical and popular genres. He was born Jacob Gershowitz in Brooklyn, New York City, in September 1898 to immigrant Jewish parents. He died at the early age of 38 from a tumour in the brain.
Gershwin started to show an interest in music from about the age of ten and, although receiving some piano tutelage, was largely self-taught in composition. It was only later in his career that he received some formal instruction in composition.
Gershwin's first employment was as a song plugger for a New York music publishing company. His first song was published in 1916 and a year later he had his first commercial successes with the rag Rialto Ripples. This was followed, in 1919, by his first big international hit, Swanee. Now established as a successful composer of popular songs, between 1919 and 1933, Gershwin produced, in collaboration with his elder brother Ira, some of the most successful Broadway musicals.
In 1924 he was commissioned by the band leader, Paul Whiteman, to produce what was to be his first 'serious' composition, the Rhapsody in Blue. This was followed a year later by the Piano Concerto in F and, in 1928, by An American in Paris. His opera Porgy and Bess was first performed on Broadway in 1935.
These five releases present a comprehensive view of Gershwin's music from the Three Preludes for solo piano to the Piano Concerto, taking in a good selection of the show songs and improvisations.
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Johannette Zomer (soprano) & Michel Ponsioen (percussion)
The Gents & Haags Saxophone Quartet, Béni Csillag
Broadway musicals and jazz belong to the cultural heritage of America. But people thought differently in George Gershwin's day - the 1920s and 30s. Broadway shows were immensely popular, but were rarely considered as art. Jazz was a subculture secretly appreciated by many white Americans, but in the same way as they liked to see wild animals at the circus - at a safe distance. It had yet to be realised that amusement music was a unique and characteristic part of American culture. “American music is not jazz, and jazz is not music”, wrote the influential music critic Paul Rosenfeld in 1929. Precisely what, then, was American music? George Gershwin (1898-1937) was one of the first to show the world. (from: liner notes)
After recordings of English Renaissance and German romantic music, and twentieth- century works from France, The Gents venture across the ocean to the new world, with a CD that takes them to Broadway. Jetse Bremer has specially arranged the last compositions by George Gershwin for this combination of soloist, choir and instruments and the flexibility and homogeneous sound of The Gents matches these songs so well. For the singers of The Gents and soprano Johannette Zomer, with their classical background, this repertoire is a special challenge, raising the question where classical stops or changes into something else....
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Music and Painters (Boxed Set)
Music that inspired Monet, Chagall, Courbet, Matisse & Picasso
Bach, J S:
St Matthew Passion, BWV244: Erbarme dich
Cello Suite No. 1 in G major, BWV1007
Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, BWV1041
Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14 - Dream of a Witches' Sabbath
From Jewish Life: No. 1, Prayer
Simchas Torah (Baal Shem No. 3)
Selig sind die Toten (from Ein Deutsches Requiem, Op. 45)
Le temps des lilas
Prelude Op. 28 No. 14 in E flat minor
Clair de Lune (from Suite Bergamasque)
Préludes - Book 1: No. 10, La cathédrale engloutie
Estampe No. 3 - Jardins sous la pluie
Reflets dans l'eau (No. 1 from Images pour piano - Book 1)
Mouvement (No. 3 from Images pour piano - Book 1)
Petite Suite: En bateau
Auprès de cette grotte sombre
Green (No. 5 from Ariettes Oubliées)
El sombrero de tres picos: excerpts
Élégie in C minor, Op. 24
Après un rêve, Op. 7 No. 1
Requiem: In Paradisum
Rhapsody in Blue
Things Are Looking Up
I Got Rhythm (from Girl Crazy & An American in Paris)
Pastorale (Années de pèlerinage I, S. 160 No. 3)
Au bord d'une source (Années de pèlerinage I, S. 160 No. 4)
Amen du jugement
Ach, ich fühl's (from Die Zauberflöte, K620)
Une barque sur l'océan (Miroirs No. 3)
Nocturne from Daphnis et Chloé - Suite No. 1
Rêverie du soir à Blidah
Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 33 Allegro non troppo
If only I had known, Op.47, No.1
Les musiques de Monet
Ravel, Debussy, Fauré, Chausson, Saint-Saëns
Les musiques de Chagall
Russian & Yiddish traditional songs / Bloch, Mozart, Bach, Ravel, Tchaïkovsky, Messiaen
Les musiques de Courbet
Chopin, Wagner, Berlioz, Debussy, Bizet, Mahler, Duparc, Berlioz, Brahms, Chausson, Schumann, Beethoven, Liszt
Les musiques de Matisse et Picasso
de Falla, Poulenc, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Satie, Ravel, Gershwin, Holiday, Armstrong, Gillespie, Bach
The four previous releases that have been combined to form this new 7-CD boxed set were each released by Naïve to mark major exhibitions of the work of the four featured painters, Monet, Chagall, Courbet, and Picasso. Each of these releases was collections of music that was either an inspiration to that particular artist or representative of where and when they produced their greatest work.
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