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The Essential George Gershwin


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Audio CD, January 14, 2003
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Prelude No. 2 For Piano (Album Version)George Gershwin 2:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. I Got RhythmEthel Waters 3:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Oh Lady, Be Good (Album Version)Buck & Bubbles 3:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Summertime (Album Version)Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra 2:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Nice Work If You Can Get It (Album Version)Maxine Sullivan & Her Orchestra 2:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. They Can't Take That Away From Me (Album Version)Fred Astaire 3:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Swanee (Album Version)Al Jolson 1:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. LizaBenny Goodman 3:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Someone to Watch Over MeFrank Sinatra 3:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. 'S Wonderful (Album Version)Dinah Shore;Buddy Clark 2:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Do It Again (Album Version)Jane Russell 3:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Soon (Album Version)Dorothy Kirsten 2:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Fascinating Rhythm/Someone To Watch Over Me (Album Version)Morton Gould, His Piano and Orchestra 8:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. The Man I Love (Album Version)Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra 3:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Let's Call The Whole Thing Off (Album Version)Fred Astaire 3:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Love Is Here To Stay (Album Version)Gene Kelly 4:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. How Long Has This Been Going On? (Album Version)Felicia Sanders 3:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Blues (Album Version)Harry James and His Orchestra 4:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. But Not For Me (Album Version)Doris Day 2:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. A Foggy Day (Album Version)Rosemary Clooney 2:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen21. I'll Build A Stairway to Paradise (Album Version)Georges Guetary 2:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen22. Third Movement (Allegro Agitato) (Album Version)Oscar Levant;Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of New York 6:25$0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Of Thee I Sing Overture (Album Version)Buffalo Philharmonic 4:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. They All Laughed (Album Version)Tony Bennett 2:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Of Thee I Sing (Album Version)The Hi-Lo's 2:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Promenade (Walking The Dog)Michael Tilson Thomas;Los Angeles Philharmonic 2:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. I've Got A Crush On You (Album Version)Ella Fitzgerald 2:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Somebody Loves Me (Album Version)Alberta Hunter 2:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Love Walked In/Embraceable You (Album Version)Maureen McGovern 4:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Mine (Album Version)Dick Hyman 2:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Isn't It A Pity (Album Version)Mel Tormé 3:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Introduction and Jazzbo Brown (Album Version)Andre Kostelanetz & His Orchestra 3:02Album Only
listen11. It Ain't Necessarily So (Album Version)Aretha Franklin 3:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Bess, You Is My Woman Now (Album Version)Robert Mcferrin;Adele Addison 5:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. I Loves You, PorgyMiles Davis 3:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. My Man's Gone Now (Album Version)Sarah Vaughan;Michael Tilson Thomas;Los Angeles Philharmonic 5:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. There's A Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon For New York (Album Version)Cab Calloway 2:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Who Cares?Tony Bennett 3:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Rhapsody in BlueMichael Tilson Thomas;George Gershwin13:43Album Only
listen18. Strike Up The Band (Album Version)André Kostelanetz & His Orchestra 2:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. Home Blues (Album Version)Michael Feinstein 3:51$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 14, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Sony Classical / Legacy
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • ASIN: B00006FN8K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,429 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

2 CDs of Gershwin's greatest compositions, sung and played by the preeminent artists in the Columbia vaults! Includes Swanee Al Jolson; Someone to Watch over Me Frank Sinatra; Summertime Billie Holiday; Soon Dorothy Kirsten; Let's Call the Whole Thing Off Fred Astaire; But Not for Me Doris Day; I've Got a Crush on You Ella Fitzgerald; Of Thee I Sing Hi-Lo's; Prelude No. 2 played by Gershwin himself, and more. 41 strokes of genius!

Amazon.com

Given his seemingly effortless ability at melding such disparate forms as jazz and gospel with his own rare melodic gifts, it's not hard to view George Gershwin as America's first classical crossover artist. But as this glorious, 41-track double-disc introduction to Gershwin's epochal repertoire quickly demonstrates, that assessment woefully shortchanges the sheer grandeur of "Rhapsody in Blue" or the sultry earthiness of "Summertime." Singer and pop musicologist Michael Feinstein produced the set (as well as contributing a new recording of "Home Blues"), and under his guidance it understandably leans toward Gershwin's remarkable body of songcraft, though it also includes more concert-oriented pieces such as the "Rhapsody" and "Prelude No. 2," both in original performances by the composer. But Feinstein's loving sense of American pop song history insures that the performances here are both inspired and enlightening. Indeed, his choices represent not only a who's who of 20th-century pop and saloon singers--spanning a rich pantheon that includes Jolson, Kelly, Astaire, Holliday, Sinatra, Bennett, Waters, Torme, Clooney, Day, Vaughan, and Fitzgerald--but deftly underscore Gershwin's transcendent synthesis of style, era, and distinctly American subject matter. Also includes a written tribute by modern songwriter Diane Warren and an essay by Pulitzer Prize winner Tim Page. -–Jerry McCulley

Customer Reviews

This is perhaps the greatest compilation of George Gershwin's work.
Carol Ann Young
I'm proud to say that after I bought this album and listened to it, I am truely a Gershwin fan.
Erica Reid
It is of high quality and contained all of the songs I was seeking to use in my presentation.
Annie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By audrey TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 1, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you have any interest in American music of the early 20th century in general, or George Gershwin in particular, you will not be able to look at the playlist to this remarkable 2-dvd set without salivating. This is a who's who of talent beginning with Gershwin himself (Prelude No. 2 for Piano and Rhapsody in Blue) and continuing on with Fred Astaire, Rosemary Clooney, Gene Kelly, Al Jolson, Doris Day, Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday, Cab Calloway, Benny Goodman, Frank Sinatra, Harry James, Mel Torme, Miles Davis, Sarah Vaughan and Tony Bennett. The sound quality is surprisingly good and the selection is magnificent, the songs presenting a wonderful and vivid protrait of the American music scene in the early part of the 20th century. (Even though Gershwin died in 1937, singers and bandleaders have been performing his songs ever since.)
The accompanying booklet contains fine essays by music critic Tim Page and composer Diane Warren, as well as liner notes for each of the 41 selections, and a few pictures.
Superb.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Edgar Olivares on April 9, 2003
Format: Audio CD
How's this for a first? The first album in the "Essential" series consisting of various artists. Of the 41 tracks on this double-album only two of them were performed by Gershwin himself and one of them , the almost-fourteen minute "Rhapsody In Blue" was partially recorded some forty years after his death. The performers on this compilation read like a who's who of artists inspired by Gershwin's brilliant compositions. Singers like Billie Holiday have two tracks here as well as Tony Bennett, Fred Astaire and Andre Kostelanetz and His Orchestra. Georges Guetary has a song "I'll Build A Stairway To Paradise" which he performed in the 1951 film "An American In Paris". Oscar Levant also performed "Third Movement" in that same film though it had been recorded years earlier. Finally, Michael Feinstein who co-produced this album has a beautifully performed rendition of "Home Blues" which closes the second disc. There's an insightful essay by Tim Page and one by songwriter Diane Warren about the legacy he left behind. Although he passed away on 7/11/37 of a brain tumor at age 38 he left behind a huge body of work that continues to inspire today's musicians. This album can truly attest to that.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca*rhapsodyinblue* VINE VOICE on November 18, 2004
Format: Audio CD
According to the liner notes: "George Gershwin produced melodies the way an apple tree bears fruit -- naturally, prolifically, inevitably."

True enough, if he lived a lot longer, he would undeniably be the most prolific composer of all-time and would have created a lot more lovely and remarkable melodies. I considered him the most brilliant composer America ever produced. In my heart, his music will linger on forever! It has that unbelievable charm and there's something about the melodies as well as the lyrics. Thanks to the brilliant mind of George and the creative talent of Ira in writing the lyrics, we can appreciate and enjoy the finest music we'll ever know in our lifetime. This is the kind of music my late parents loved listening to and I was greatly influenced by them. I have loved the music of the Gershwin Brothers as far back as I could remember! Imagine a grade-schooler loving this kind of music then? Just because I've been hearing them played over and over in our turntable and eventually learned to appreciate and enjoy them!

This 2-CD Set features superb performances of Goodman, Sinatra, Bennett, Fitzgerald, Clooney, Astaire, Day, Torme, Feinstein, among many others. On Disc One, the tracks I enjoyed the most are Fred Astaire's "They Can't Take That Away From Me" which was originally recorded in the '30s from the movie "Shall We Dance?" a haunting rendition of "Someone To Watch Over Me" by Frank Sinatra, arranged by Axel Stordahl and was recorded in the '40s, a duet by Dinah Shore and Buddy Clark's "'S Wonderful," Gene Kelly's mellow rendition of "Our Love Is Here To Stay," the last song ever composed before Mr. Gershwin was hospitalized; and "How Long Has This Been Going On" by Felicia Sanders.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sweetmuseek on October 26, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Absolutely great album! Wonderful Gershwin would be enough but add all the greats in music and vocal categories and it's a smash hit, one after another. It is definatley a journey down memory lane, well worth the purchase. I will play this many times over, timeless!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 20, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Listening to this music I brought back to the America of my childhood and early years. Excuse the subjectivity of this review. I don't think there is anyone who doubts the greatness of this music. And the performers here Sinatra, Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, Ella, Jolson, Tony Bennett, Fred Astraire, Doris Day are the tops of the top.

That is to say as a review there is really nothing more to say, but that this is the top of the top in popular music.

But again listening to the very distinct sounds of someone like Jolly , or Sinatra, or the clarinet of Goodman I am connected to so many specific sights and scenes of my own past life, and of people who so loved this music and are no longer hear to enjoy it. As for Gershwin he is just the best there is, these melodies have been heard so often they sing in my soul as in so many other souls, wherever we go.

It just brings me thoughts deep enough for tears.
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The Essential George Gershwin
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