George Gershwin is perhaps the most popular American composer of the twentieth century, and his short and dramatic life has been the subject of much attention. His music, however, has never been scrutinized as closely as his life, and the composer known for his show tunes has had difficulty finding a niche in the world of "serious" music. This book is the first in-depth analysis of Gershwin's entire compositional oeuvre, including his concert music.
Weaving biographical material with musical analysis, Steven Gilbert presents a chronological study of the highlights of Gershwin's career. He discusses the well-known Rhapsody in Blue , Concerto in F , An American in Paris , and Porgy and Bess , as well as such popular songs as "Swanee." "S'Wonderful," "I Got Rhythm," "Love Walked In," and "Love Is Here to Stay." But he also examines relatively neglected works that are no less deserving, such as Second Rhapsody , Cuban Overture , and Pardon My English , the last of which, says Gilbert, was a failure on Broadway but was one of George and Ira Gershwin's finest collaborations. Written in a fluid, conversational style and illustrated with numerous musical examples, some of which have never before been published, this book will be enjoyed by general readers and appreciated by professional musicians and musical scholars alike.