- Gebundene Ausgabe: 354 Seiten
- Verlag: Oxford University Press Inc; Auflage: 1st Edition (31. Dezember 2003)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0195130197
- ISBN-13: 978-0195130195
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 24,1 x 3 x 16 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 3.947.268 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
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The George Gershwin Reader (Readers on American Musicians) (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 31. Dezember 2003
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"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
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. Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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Editors of anthologies like this have two principal areas of responsibility. In the first place, the selections must be well chosen, arranged in a logical order, and of course present the original texts with scrupulous accuracy. This is a fundamental point, and the reader of such a collection should also expect that the editors will provide helpful commentary -- e.g., offering succinct background information on the authors and the selections, clearly identifying errors found in the original sources, cross-referencing issues and possible contradictions among the various texts, and suggesting additional sources that could further illuminate the material that has been chosen. Let me take up these issues in sequence.
Robert Wyatt and John Andrew Johnson, the editors of "The George Gershwin Reader", did choose and compile much worthwhile material. Reminiscences of the composer by family and friends are included, along with newspaper accounts of major premieres, articles both casual and serious from periodicals, and the occasional selection from a book. Particularly welcome are the generous offerings from Gershwin's correspondence; eleven letters exchanged between the composer and librettist DuBose Heyward tellingly document the evolution of "Porgy and Bess". Wyatt's interviews with Todd Duncan and Anne Brown, who portrayed the protagonists in the original production of "Porgy", haven't appeared elsewhere and offer invaluable insights into the composer and his work. One can always quarrel about selections. Although Gershwin's own published articles are well represented, it seems curious that his contribution to Cowell's "American Composers", a major book in its day, appears nowhere in "The George Gershwin Reader". Also striking is the absence of anything written about Gershwin by his teacher Edward Kilenyi. Also mysterious is the decision to include only one scholarly article (a fine one, Mary Dupree's " 'Jazz,' the Critics, and American Art Music in the 1920s"); for there has plainly been heightened academic interest in Gershwin during the past three decades.
The selections in "The George Gershwin Reader" are grouped very logically into eight sections. The first, "Portraits of the Artist," provides general commentary on the composer, principally by family and friends. The following five sections proceed chronologically through Gershwin's career, beginning with "The Growing Limelight (1919-1924)" and concluding with "Last Years: Hollywood (1936-1937)." Then comes a group of "Obituaries and Eulogies," and a final section, "As Time Passes." The only material that seems misplaced in this arrangement is Nanette Kutner's "Radio Pays a Debt" in the "Last Years" section; this article centers upon "Porgy" and would have fit better in the preceding section devoted exclusively to the opera. Well-chosen and well-ordered selections can produce a fine anthology, but only if the presumed and necessary scrupulous care is taken with the texts themselves. I would not expect to have to focus a review of an important book by a major publisher upon the most basic editorial matters; one should be able to take such things for granted and proceed to discuss issues of intellectual substance. In the present instance, this is not possible. Serious trouble appears at the end of the second section, and the editorial problems accumulate steadily throughout the remainder of the book.
Section 2 concludes with Ira Gershwin's article about lyric writing,"Which Came First?" More accurately, section 2 concludes with excerpts from Ira Gershwin's article; however, the editors fail to inform readers that they have cut the article -- let alone where they have done so. The result is that Gershwin's superbly articulate brother is rendered virtually incoherent at points, as when the printed text inexplicably lurches from a discussion of "The Babbitt and the Bromide" (from "Funny Face"), into the middle of commentary on the song "The Saga of Jenny," (from "Lady in the Dark"), which Ira Gershwin wrote with Kurt Weill after George's death. (If the editors made the choice to cut the article, why they left these passages about a Weill song in "The George Gershwin Reader" is unfathomable to me!) The problem of texts that have been subjected to cutting, without even the provision of ellipses as indications to the reader, recurs elsewhere, and Larry Scott discusses this at length in his Notes review.
Following Scott, the proofreading (or lack thereof) done for "The George Gershwin Reader" is in all respects so slipshod that it becomes painful to discuss. Suffice it to say that by the time one encounters the note on p. 239 that refers to Isaac Goldberg's famous biography as "George Gershwin: A Study in Arminian [sic!] Music", one wonders whether anybody at Oxford U.P. had actually read through the text of this anthology before it was published. A list of other obvious errata would run several more lengthy paragraphs. To the people at Oxford who green-lighted this mess: you ought to be ashamed of yourselves.
I could offer detailed remarks on the editorial commentary offered in "The George Gershwin Reader", but why go on? When the editors of this book have operated in such a way as to forfeit their own authority and the trust of potential readers by defaulting on their primary editorial responsibilities, there is simply no way to recommend the book. A volume with these deficiencies does not reflect well on anybody connected with producing it. While "The George Gershwin Reader" represents an important and worthy idea, the project as executed that has gone seriously awry. I can only hope that someday soon it will be done over and done right. As it stands, nobody is well-served -- not potential readers, surely not the authors of the original material, and above all not Gershwin himself, who deserves much, much better.
Listening to Rhapsody in Blue and Lady Be Good while reading the book gave me a wonderful evening. Try it. You won't be sorry. Maggie Wise Riley t
it's most informative of Georg's private life. It will appeal to most Gershwin lovers.
In addition this was and is the first and only full-color book on Gershwin, and it augments the articles with page after page of reproductions of original sheet music, programs, magazine art, photos, posters, and pertinent memorabilia, all published during the composer's lifetime. It would be a shame not to acknowledge the groundbreaking nature of this first book to present the contemporary materials of Gershwin's life and career. Readers who are fascinated by this subject, and would like to see color visual counterparts to the original articles, are encouraged to seek out a copy of GERSHWIN IN HIS TIME.
However, readers should understand that the new GERSHWIN READER expands on the materials in GERSHWIN IN HIS TIME by also including significant letters by the composer and his associates, as well as criticism and discussions of the works by authorities and fellow composers in the years following Gershwin's death in 1937--extremely important materials, and a must for anyone interested in all of the 20th century's opinions of the composer. GERSHWIN IN HIS TIME remains valuable as a scrapbook of contemporary accounts and color images that present a complete "you-are-there," year-by-year (1919-1937) overview of Gershwin's career and works.
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