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Various - The Masterpiece Reborn As A Musical: The Gershwin's Porgy And Bess FLAC album

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The Gershwins’ PORGY AND BESS, a bittersweet love story set in the Deep South, is one of the towering achievements of 20th century theatre. THE SPECTATOR, in association with The Gershwins’ PORGY AND BESS, bring s you this exclusive commemorative CD of musical highlights from Trevor Nunn’s magnificent adaptation which opened at London’s Savoy Theatre in November 2006. The greatest songs ever written. Savoy Theatre 0870 164 8787. Selection from the London production of the Gershwin's PORGY & BESS, a new musical by Trevor Nunn.

In 2001, it was awarded a Grammy Hall of Fame Award, a special achievement prize established in 1973 to honor recordings that are at least twenty-five years old, and that have "qualitative or historical significance

Unfortunately, Gershwin wouldn’t live to see his song become the world-famous one it is today. We’ve taken a look at some of the different versions of ‘Summertime’ from the past 80 years. 1935 – Porgy and Bess. Many people think of Porgy and Bess as a musical, when in fact it was written by Gershwin (who came from a musical theatre background) to be his very first opera. Although jazz-inspired, the original version of ‘Summertime’ was to be performed by a classically trained opera singer. The original, written in the minor key, has a slightly melancholy feel. Up until the release of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong’s Jazz album, Porgy and Bess, ‘Summertime’ was still relatively unknown. Fitzgerald’s cover quickly propelled the song into the limelight, not only cementing it as a jazz staple, but also as globally recognisable hit.

Acclaimed by Encyclopedia Britannica as "the greatest American musical drama ever written," The Modern Jazz Quartet perform it at the highest level of creative flair to pay homage to a marvel of composition with the utmost degree of sincerity and respect. This is a piece that Gershwin took a full 11 months to compose and nine months to orchestrate, all based on the initial inspiration from a drama written by playwright Dorothy Heyward. Opening up the score is Gershwin's dazzling and seductive tune "Summertime," a landslide mark of musical brilliance.

Why is "Porgy and Bess" the exception? Because it has, as a complete and unified musical drama, a power and brilliance that simply cannot be hinted at, let alone encapsulated, by the individual songs. The work is "racially-charged" but it is not "racist. Stephen Sondheim's defense of this work as not requiring revisions finally made complete sense to me upon listening to the entirety of "Porgy and Bess" as performed on this recording (as opposed to the "almost" equally compelling highlights on certain other recordings). It's a deeply moving work-like few others (what other "American Folk Opera" can you name?). And on this Mothers Day, I must acknowledge the central role of motherhood in "Porgy and Bess.

Porgy and Bess was privately premiered in its full original length at the Colonial Theatre in Boston on 20 September 1935; shortly afterwards it was presented again on 10 October 1935 on Broadway at 1. the Alvin Theatre in New York. From its first appearance the work has been performed with many cuts and indeed, several numbers were cut under Gershwin’s supervision, probably to make it conform to the normal length of a Broadway show, or simply to improve the dramatic content. As far I am concerned, some are inclined to criticize negatively this production; the answers is mainly addressed that now, Porgy and Bess the musical can be assimilated with the pleasure of listening to such evergreen standards, Jazz tunes like Summertime, It Ain’t Necessarily So, I Got Plenty of Nuttin, and now be easily perceived by a youth generation.

This 1956 recording based on George Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess was the second "complete" recording of the opera after the 1951 version, and the first recording of the work to feature jazz singers and musicians instead of operatic singers and a classical orchestra. Russell Garcia arranged Gershwin's work for the Bethlehem Orchestra, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Australian Jazz Quintet, the Pat Moran Quartet and the Stan Levey Group.

All compositions by George Gershwin. Bess, You Is My Woman Now" - 5:37. Jazz Dialogue is an album by American jazz group the Modern Jazz Quartet with a big band featuring performances recorded in 1965 and released on the Atlantic label. John Lewis (pianist). John Aaron Lewis (May 3, 1920 – March 29, 2001) was an American jazz pianist, composer and arranger, best known as the founder and musical director of the Modern Jazz Quartet. Porgy and Bess, the opera by George Gershwin, has been recorded by a variety of artists since it was completed in 1935, including renditions by jazz instrumentalists and vocalists, in addition to operatic treatments.


1 Summertime
2 I Got Plenty O' Nuttin'
3 Bess, You Is My Woman
4 It Ain't Necessarily So
5 Oh, Lawd I Am On My Way


  • Adapted By – Gareth Valentine
  • Conductor – David White
  • Liner Notes – Trevor Nunn
  • Lyrics By [Uncredited] – DuBose Heyward
  • Performer – Clarke Peters, Gilz Terrera, Lorraine Velez*, Nicola Hughes
  • Written-By – Gershwin*, Gershwin*


Selections from the London production of the Gershwin's PORGY & BESS, a new musical by Trevor Nunn. Sampler CD housed in custom fold-out sleeve with production dates and ticket price information.

Recorded 25th August 2006 at Olympic Studios, London SW13

Other versions

Category Artist Title (Format) Label Category Country Year
DEWY.060830.002, Various The Masterpiece Reborn As A Musical: The Gershwin's Porgy And Bess ‎(CD, Promo, Smplr) Dewynters, The Spectator, Savoy Theatre DEWY.060830.002, UK 2006
Various - The Masterpiece Reborn As A Musical: The Gershwin's Porgy And Bess FLAC album
The Masterpiece Reborn As A Musical: The Gershwin's Porgy And Bess
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