George Gershwin: The 100th Birthday Celebration

George Gershwin: The 100th Birthday Celebration

by San Francisco Symphony
     
 

The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra's celebration of George Gershwin's centenary takes the form of a two-CD set culled from two performances, comprising four separate pieces. The most impressive is the first, an extended version of "Catfish Row Suite," Gershwin's orchestral treatment of themes from Porgy and…  See more details below

Overview

The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra's celebration of George Gershwin's centenary takes the form of a two-CD set culled from two performances, comprising four separate pieces. The most impressive is the first, an extended version of "Catfish Row Suite," Gershwin's orchestral treatment of themes from Porgy and Bess (so titled to avoid confusion with Robert Russell Bennett's Porgy and Bess suite), with interpolations of several songs from the opera, sung by Broadway stars Audra McDonald and Brian Stokes Mitchell. Both singers are well suited to the material, and Mitchell in particular gets into the different parts; it's hard to believe the singer on "Bess, You Is My Woman Now" and "There's a Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon" is the same person. Purists may question the performance of the "Second Rhapsody" that follows, featuring conductor Michael Tilson Thomas on piano, since, as annotator David Wright puts it, "Following the precedent that was hinted at in Gershwin's own recorded rehearsals of the work, Mr. Tilson Thomas has inserted a cadenza he has written in the Gershwin style." Of course, there are different ways to approach this material, and if there were any doubt about that, it is dispelled in the orchestra's relatively calm reading of "An American in Paris"; Tilson Thomas' American is a leisurely tourist. Garrick Ohlsson sparks the orchestra with his piano playing on the "Concerto in F," which concludes the album, bringing things almost up to the standard of the "Catfish Row Suite."

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/15/1998
Label:
Rca
UPC:
0090266893126
catalogNumber:
68931

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Catfish Row/Summer  - Michael Tilson Thomas
  2. Porgy Sings  - Michael Tilson Thomas
  3. Fugue  - Michael Tilson Thomas
  4. Bess, You Is My Wom  - Michael Tilson Thomas
  5. Hurricane  - Michael Tilson Thomas
  6. My Man's Gone Now  - Michael Tilson Thomas
  7. There's a Boat Dat  - Michael Tilson Thomas
  8. Good Mornin' Sistu  - Michael Tilson Thomas
  9. Second Rhapsody, for piano & orchestra ("Rhapsody in Rivets")  - Michael Tilson Thomas

Disc 2

  1. An American in Paris, tone poem for orchestra  - Michael Tilson Thomas
  2. I: Allegro  - Michael Tilson Thomas
  3. II: Adagio - Andante con moto  - Michael Tilson Thomas
  4. III: Allegro agitato  - Michael Tilson Thomas

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