George Gershwin: An Intimate Portrait

George Gershwin: An Intimate Portrait

5.0 2
by Walter Rimler
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

George Gershwin lived with purpose and gusto, but with melancholy as well, for he was unable to make a place for himself--no family of his own and no real home in music._x000B__x000B_He and his siblings received little love from their mother and no direction from their father. The closest George came to domesticity was his longtime affair with fellow composer Kay

Overview

George Gershwin lived with purpose and gusto, but with melancholy as well, for he was unable to make a place for himself--no family of his own and no real home in music._x000B__x000B_He and his siblings received little love from their mother and no direction from their father. The closest George came to domesticity was his longtime affair with fellow composer Kay Swift. But she remained married to another man while he went endlessly from woman to woman. Only in the final hours of his life did he realize how much he needed her. Fatally ill, unprotected by (and perhaps estranged from) his older brother Ira, he was exiled by Ira's hard-edged wife Leonore from the house that she and the brothers shared, and he died horribly and alone at the age of thirty-eight._x000B__x000B_Nor did Gershwin find a satisfying musical harbor. For years his genius could be expressed only in the ephemeral world of show business, as his brilliance as a composer of large-scale works went unrecognized by highbrow music critics. When he resolved this quandary with his opera Porgy and Bess, critics were unable to understand or validate it. Decades would pass before his most ambitious composition was universally regarded as one of music's lasting treasures and before his stature as a great composer became secure._x000B__x000B_In this book, Walter Rimler makes use of fresh sources, including newly discovered letters by Kay Swift as well as correspondence between and interviews with intimates of Ira and Leonore Gershwin. It is written with spirited prose and contains more than two dozen photographs.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A dynamic, fast-paced biography of George Gershwin that has the verve and staccato drive of a book the composer himself might have written. Rimler gives us a fuller, more complex, more humorous, and more vulnerable picture of Gershwin than has yet appeared in print."—Philip Furia, coauthor of The Poets of Tin Pan Alley: A History of America's Great Lyricists

"A hugely enjoyable read, this neat, polished package is a skillful condensation of the vast literature on Gershwin but also offers a new critical angle on the composer's achievement."—Stephen Banfield, author of Jerome Kern

 "An engrossing, well-written look at Gershwin, the composer and the man, with emphasis on the man."—Choice

"Engagingly written, lavishly illustrated. . . . With this volume, we get a focused portrait of George Gershwin, a genius plagued by self-doubt and a wandering eye."Opera News

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780252093692
Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
Publication date:
07/17/2009
Series:
Music in American Life
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
425,367
File size:
4 MB

Meet the Author

Walter Rimler is the author of Not Fade Away: A Comparison of Jazz Age With Rock Era Pop Song Composers and A Gershwin Companion. His articles and fiction have appeared in Midstream, Prism International, and other publications.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

George Gershwin: An Intimate Portrait 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This short biography was fascinating. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves music.