Synopses & Reviews
In this welcome addition to the immensely popular Yale Broadway Masters series, Larry Starr focuses fresh attention on George Gershwinand#8217;s Broadway contributions and examines their centrality to the composerand#8217;s entire career. Starr presents Gershwin as a composer with a unified musical visionand#8212;a vision developed on Broadway and used as a source of strength in his well-known concert music. In turn, Gershwinand#8217;s concert-hall experience enriched and strengthened his musicals, leading eventually to his great and#8220;Broadway opera,and#8221; Porgy and Bess. Through the prism of three major showsand#8212;Lady Be Good (1924), Of Thee I Sing (1931), and Porgy and Bess (1935)and#8212;Starr highlights Gershwinand#8217;s distinctive contributions to the evolution of the Broadway musical. In addition, the author considers Gershwinand#8217;s musical language, his compositions for the concert hall, and his movie scores for Hollywood in the light of his Broadway experience.
"An admirable effort to understand the key shows in Gershwin's career and how the productions shaped him as a composer."--Eric Felten, The Wall Street Journal
and#8220;[A] probing, original study.and#8221;and#8212;Seattle Times
Selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2011 in the Music category. Seattle Times
and#8220;and#8230;.a sad story but a very illuminating one, and the book is an enthralling read.and#8221;and#8212;Peter Dickinson, Gramophone
and#8220;Larry Starr's valuable new bookand#8230;is not a traditional biographyand#8230;but rather an insightful, technically intricate yet easy-to-follow study of Gershwin's music, particularly as it came out of the Broadway tradition.and#8221;and#8212;Tim Page, The Washington Post
and#8220;If George Gershwin provided much that the world's listeners have savored as America's musical daily bread, Larry Starr's spirited book goes a long way toward showing how he did it.and#8221; and#8212;Richard Crawford, author of America's Musical Life: A History
This fresh look at three of George Gershwinand#8217;s musicals (Lady Be Good, Of Thee I Sing, and Porgy and Bess) shows how his Broadway experience influenced all of his musical output.
About the Author
Larry Starr is a Professor of music history, University of Washington. He lives in Seattle.