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First published in 1991, this pioneering work--which grew out of extensive interviews with Ira Gershwin and draws on much unpublished material from his archives--provides an interpretation and critical history of the Gershwin opus. Focusing on the major songs and shows and on the creative process that produced them, Rosenberg traces the development of the Gershwins' vocabulary, voice, subject, and viewpoint as they evolved from song to song. She illuminates how words and music work together in each song to create a small one-act play that encompasses a satisfying emotional and dramatic action.
Rosenberg also expertly places the Gershwins in their creative and social context, highlighting their innovations, their own growth as mature artists, and their relationship to their times. And she outlines Ira's productive career following the untimely death of his brother in 1937.
Filled with musical examples, Iyrics, and photographs, this rich portrait will fascinate any musical theater lover.
"Packed with terrific insights that will delight those who care about this music." --New York Times Book Review
Deena Rosenberg is the founding chair of the Musical Theatre Program, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. A cultural and music historian, she is coauthor of The Music Makers and has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, High Fidelity, and other publications.