Thursday, September 26, 2019

Happy 121st Birthday George Gershwin!

Happy Birthday to legendary American composer, George Gershwin, born Jacob Gershowitz in Brooklyn, NY, on September 26, 1898.  Some call this great pianist, America's greatest composer.  

George Gershwin [Sept. 26, 1898 - July 11, 1937]
From Wikipedia:  Gershwin's "compositions spanned both popular and classical genres. Among his best-known works are the orchestral compositions Rhapsody in Blue (1924) and An American in Paris (1928), the songs Swanee (1919) and Fascinating Rhythm (1924), the jazz standard I Got Rhythm (1930), and the opera Porgy and Bess (1935) which spawned the hit Summertime."

"Gershwin moved to Hollywood and composed numerous film scores until his death in 1937 from a malignant brain tumor. His compositions have been adapted for use in films and television, and several became jazz standards recorded and covered in many variations.

My big brother Sandy, a great American, found this awesome video of Dr. Astrith Baltsan, virtuoso classical pianist, narrator and musicologist from Israel, explaining in a short but brilliant way the music of George Gershwin.

I know Dr. Baltsan's students must feel blessed to have such a great teacher as this.  Here she performs with the Israel Philharmonic.  In this video she explains how Gershwin's love of music of different cultures was brilliantly combined in what is undoubtedly George Gershwin's most popular piece, Rhapsody in Blue.

Now enjoy the complete Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin:

George Gershwin: An American in Paris

George Gershwin: "I've Got Rhythm" for solo piano from the musical Girl Crazy

George Gershwin: "Summertime" from the opera Porgy and Bess, Ella Fitzgerald singer:

Happy Birthday, George Gershwin!  You've got rhythm!


Pamela said...

Fascinating and very interesting. Thank you Michael.

Big Mike said...

you're welcome pamela!

Francine said...

Loved this!

Big Mike said...

Thanks Francine.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Mike! Thanks so much for this!!!!! I've always loved Gershwin, and this explanation makes it so much better!


Big Mike said...

Thanks big Dave! You're welcome.