George Gershwin: A New Biography

George Gershwin: A New Biography

by William G. Hyland

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Overview

Hyland reveals both the man and his creations, revealing how Gershwin became the first composer to apply popular music to classical forms, how his work reflected the turmoil of America in the Jazz Age, and how, despite his fame, he never achieved the happiness and contentment a genius of his stature deserved. This is a fascinating new biography that no Gershwin fan—and no music fan—should be without.

George Gershwin pioneered the crossover from Broadway musicals to concert audiences, culminating in what is arguably America's greatest opera, Porgy and Bess. In William G. Hyland's new biography, Gershwin's personality and music are reexamined. Hyland illustrates how the composer's craftsmanship was criticized and his music was relegated to the status of lowbrow for decades, until the relatively recent appreciation of his achievements.

Yet for all of his artistic brilliance, Gershwin was vulnerable and discontented in his personal life. Hyland reveals both the man and his creations, revealing how Gershwin became the first composer to apply popular music to classical forms, how his work reflected the turmoil of America in the Jazz Age, and how, despite his fame, he never achieved the happiness and contentment a genius of his stature deserved. This is a fascinating new biography that no Gershwin fan—and no music fan—should be without.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780313361500
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 08/30/2003
Edition description: New
Pages: 312
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

WILLIAM G. HYLAND served a long career with the United States Government—at the White House, the State Department, and the NSC—and for ten years was the editor of Foreign Affairs Quarterly. He is the author of many works on international politics, as well as The Song Is Ended: Songwriters and American Music, 1900-1950 and Richard Rodgers.

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

Youth

Song Plugging

Musical Influences

Rhapsody in Blue

Jazz

Broadway

Lady Be Good and The Concerto

An American in Paris

Of Thee I Sing

Porgy and Bess

Hollywood

Personality

Keeping the Flame

American Music

Bibliography

Index

What People are Saying About This

Thomas Hischak

"It did not take me long to realize that this was not 'just another' Gershwin biography [due to] the book's originality, its very up-to-date information, its careful but readable analyses, and its overview of everything yet written about Gershwin. The book is meticulously researched, very thorough, and well written. . . . I find it to be an excellent addition to the field."

Thomas Hischak^LProfessor of Theatre


It did not take me long to realize that this was not 'just another' Gershwin biography [due to] the book's originality, its very up-to-date information, its careful but readable analyses, and its overview of everything yet written about Gershwin. The book is meticulously researched, very thorough, and well written. . . . I find it to be an excellent addition to the field.

Steve Ross

Another Gershwin biography? Yes—and a very good one at that. It includes a fascinating overview of many of the other works on the subject, as well as being easy and enjoyable to read. And besides—its got rhythm!

Michael Feinstein

This new biography of George Gershwin is well researched and most interesting. Mr. Hyland has carefully combined old and new information to present an evenhanded and fresh look at the composer.

Thomas Hischak Professor of Theatre

It did not take me long to realize that this was not 'just another' Gershwin biography [due to] the book's originality, its very up-to-date information, its careful but readable analyses, and its overview of everything yet written about Gershwin. The book is meticulously researched, very thorough, and well written. . . . I find it to be an excellent addition to the field.

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