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Gershwin / Heyward: Porgy & Bess (1935)

George & Ira Gershwin , Dubose & Dorothy Heyward , John Mauceri , Nashville Symphony & Chorus , Alvy Powell , Marquita Lister , Robert Mack , Nicole Cabell Audio CD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 49 Songs, 2006 $18.99  
Audio CD, 2006 $15.99  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

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. Dorothy Heyward: Introduction - IntroductionNashville Symphony 1:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Dorothy Heyward: Summertime - SummertimeNicole Cabell 2:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Dorothy Heyward: Seems like these bones don't give me nothin' but boxcars tonight - Seems like these bones don't give me nothin' but boxcars tonightRobert Mack 3:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Dorothy Heyward: Summertime - SummertimeNicole Cabell0:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Dorothy Heyward: What, that chile ain't asleep yet?...A woman is a sometime thing - What, that chile ain't asleep yet?...A woman is a sometime thingRobert Mack 2:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Dorothy Heyward: Honey man! Honey man! Here come de honey man - Honey man! Honey man! Here come de honey manAlvy Powell 3:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Dorothy Heyward: They pass by singin' - They pass by singin'Alvy Powell 1:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Dorothy Heyward: Here comes Big Boy! - Here comes Big Boy!Marquita Lister 3:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Dorothy Heyward: Crown cock-eyed drunk...Oh, little stars - Crown cock-eyed drunk...Oh, little starsAlvy Powell 2:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Dorothy Heyward: Oh stop them! Don't let them fight! - Oh stop them! Don't let them fight!Alvy Powell 1:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Dorothy Heyward: Wake up an' hit it out. You ain't got no time to lose - Wake up an' hit it out. You ain't got no time to loseMarquita Lister 4:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Dorothy Heyward: Gone, gone, gone...Overflow - Gone, gone, gone...OverflowAlvy Powell 6:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Dorothy Heyward: Um! A saucer-buryin' setup, I see - Um! A saucer-buryin' setup, I seeAlvy Powell 3:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Dorothy Heyward: My man's gone now - My man's gone nowMonique McDonald 4:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Dorothy Heyward: How de saucer stan'now, my sister? - How de saucer stan'now, my sister?Alvy Powell 1:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Dorothy Heyward: Leavin' for the Promise' Lan - Leavin' for the Promise' LanMarquita Lister 2:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Dorothy Heyward: Oh, I'm a-goin' out to the Blackfish Banks - Oh, I'm a-goin' out to the Blackfish BanksNicole Cabell 3:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Dorothy Heyward: Oh, I got plenty o'nuttin' - Oh, I got plenty o'nuttin'Alvy Powell 2:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. Dorothy Heyward: Mornin, lawyer, lookin' for somebody? - Mornin, lawyer, lookin' for somebody?Linda Thompson Williams 4:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. Dorothy Heyward: Dey's a Buckra comin' - Dey's a Buckra comin'Nicole Cabell 1:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen21. Dorothy Heyward: 'Lo Bess, goin' to de picnic? - 'Lo Bess, goin' to de picnic?Alvy Powell 3:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen22. Dorothy Heyward: Bess, you is my woman now - Bess, you is my woman nowAlvy Powell 5:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen23. Dorothy Heyward: Oh, I can't sit down - Oh, I can't sit downAlvy Powell 4:36$0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Dorothy Heyward: Allegretto barbaro...Ha da da, ha da da - Allegretto barbaro...Ha da da, ha da daAlvy Powell 1:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Dorothy Heyward: It ain't necessarily so - It ain't necessarily soRobert Mack 4:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Dorothy Heyward: Crown! You know very well dis Crown - Crown! You know very well dis CrownMarquita Lister 2:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Dorothy Heyward: Oh...What you want wid Bess? - Oh...What you want wid Bess?Marquita Lister 3:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Dorothy Heyward: Honey, dat's all de breakfast I got time for - Honey, dat's all de breakfast I got time forLeonard Rowe 2:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Dorothy Heyward: Well, if it ain't ole Peter! - Well, if it ain't ole Peter!Alvy Powell 2:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Dorothy Heyward: Oh Doctor Jesus - Oh Doctor JesusAlvy Powell 2:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Dorothy Heyward: Oh dey's so fresh an' fine...I'm talkin' about devil crabs - Oh dey's so fresh an' fine...I'm talkin' about devil crabsAlvy Powell 3:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Dorothy Heyward: Porgy, Porgy, dat you there, ain't it? - Porgy, Porgy, dat you there, ain't it?Alvy Powell 2:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Dorothy Heyward: I loves you, Porgy - I loves you, PorgyAlvy Powell 2:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Dorothy Heyward: Why you been out on that wharf so long, Clara? - Why you been out on that wharf so long, Clara?Nicole Cabell 1:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Dorothy Heyward: Storm - StormNashville Symphony 1:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Dorothy Heyward: Oh, de Lawd shake de Heavens - Oh, de Lawd shake de HeavensAlvy Powell 2:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Dorothy Heyward: One of dese mornin's...Oh, dere's somebody knockin' at de do' - One of dese mornin's...Oh, dere's somebody knockin' at de do'Nicole Cabell 2:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Dorothy Heyward: You is a nice parcel of Christians - You is a nice parcel of ChristiansAlvy Powell 3:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Dorothy Heyward: A red-headed woman - A red-headed womanLester Lynch 1:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Dorothy Heyward: Jake's boat in de river, upside down! - Jake's boat in de river, upside down!Marquita Lister 2:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Dorothy Heyward: Clara, Clara, don't you be downhearted - Clara, Clara, don't you be downheartedNashville Symphony Chorus 2:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. Dorothy Heyward: Ha ha ha - Ha ha haRobert Mack 1:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. Dorothy Heyward: Summertime - SummertimeAlvy Powell 3:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen21. Dorothy Heyward: Introduction, Wait for us at the corner - Introduction, Wait for us at the cornerAlvy Powell 6:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen22. Dorothy Heyward: Listen: There's a boat dat's leavin' soon for New York - Listen: There's a boat dat's leavin' soon for New YorkMarquita Lister 4:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen23. Dorothy Heyward: Occupational humoresque (Good mornin') - Occupational humoresque (Good mornin')Alvy Powell 3:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen24. Dorothy Heyward: It's Porgy comin' home - It's Porgy comin' homeAlvy Powell 3:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen25. Dorothy Heyward: Oh, Bess, oh where's my Bess - Oh, Bess, oh where's my BessAlvy Powell 1:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen26. Dorothy Heyward: Where's Bess gone? Oh Lawd, I'm on my way - Where's Bess gone? Oh Lawd, I'm on my wayAlvy Powell 2:53$0.99  Buy MP3 


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Product Details

  • Performer: Alvy Powell, Marquita Lister, Robert Mack, Nicole Cabell
  • Orchestra: Nashville Symphony & Chorus
  • Conductor: John Mauceri
  • Composer: George & Ira Gershwin, Dubose & Dorothy Heyward
  • Audio CD (September 12, 2006)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B000H0MGTG
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #263,776 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

This is the first recording of George Gershwin's classic to incorporate the composer's final revisions for the 1935 premiere. Apparently it differs from the original published score though it won’t sound all that different to a layman who’s heard the versions dating from the 1970s onward, which replaced spoken dialogue with the sung recitatives Gershwin wanted. Musicology aside, there are gains and losses in this new set. The gains are a tighter, more focused narrative line due to the cuts, which amount to about half-an-hour of music. But those cuts are losses too, since they include some familiar and well-loved numbers. The performance is a good one though, if not necessarily preferable to previous recordings by Maazel, DeMain, and Rattle, all of which have their own shortcomings. Alvy Powell makes for a finely honed Porgy, and while one could ask for a bigger-voiced Bess, Marquita Lister sings and acts well. Many of the smaller roles are admirable too, with Lester Lynch scoring as a menacing Crown but Nicole Cabell, the Clara, has a wide vibrato on sustained high notes marring her "Summertime," here performed in the faster tempo of the 1935 score. --Dan Davis

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars My Jasbo's Gone Now! September 30, 2006
Format:Audio CD
Q: What do Pogy & Bess and Verdi's Don Carlos have in common?

A: Both fell victim to 'Last Train Syndrome'.

How interesting to learn that both these scores, so full of glories, so rich in human character and emotion, arrived at the rehearsal room as huge, rambling structures, only to have drastic cuts forced on them before opening night in order that audiences wouldn't miss the last trains back to the suburbs!

Gershwin, unlike Verdi, never got to revise his score following its first stages production, so we'll never know what his final thoughts may have been had he lived a normal lifespan. This new recording, the fruit of meticulous research into the original pit parts and production notes, reproduces what the first New York audiences heard in the theatre. Approximately 25 minutes of music was cut from the original, published score. The result was an admittedly more focused narrative, with a stronger through-line for all the main characters.

But, musically, the losses are hard borne. Most sadly missed are the evocative Jasbo Brown blues, the quasi-religious prelude to the crap game, I Ain't Got No Shame, Maria's tirade against Spotin' Life and...oh, what's the point of going on?

In addition, the singing {with the welcome exceptions of Crown and Mingo) is competent rather than distinguished, and Mauceri's conducting safe, rather than inspired.

I enjoyed the dramatic integrity of this set, but it will never replace John de Main and Houston Grand Opera.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Mauceri Porgy And Bess September 20, 2006
Format:Audio CD
Following in the line of his recordings of STREET SCENE and REGINA, the John Mauceri recording of PORGY AND BESS, alas, underwhelms. The people involved state this as the PORGY Gershwin wanted. I would rather say that it's the PORGY Gershwin realistically settled for.

The use of subsequent changes in the libretto and lyrics for certain offensive words alone calls into question the historical accuracy of this "1935 version". One has to wonder what other unspoken compromises have been made. Further statements in the notes for this recording have a scent of self-congratulation and self-justification rather than musical scholarship, at the expense of Gershwin's full, original version. One glaring statement involves Act III's "Occupational Humoresque", stating this recording captures its first performance since 1938, ignoring the fact that the effect was heard in the 1959 film and its soundtrack album.

As for the recording itself, no one will accuse it of mimicking Maazel's "conservatory" approach. Mauceri isn't that careful. He allows his soloists a wide berth, to the point where at times they're not with the orchestra at all. At times, its just sloppy. The one good thing this abridged version does is bring into proper perspective the musical and dramatic cohesiveness and magnitude of Gershwin's full score as we have thankfully known it for the last thirty years.

In short, this recording is not recommended- a wasted opportunity for an American masterwork. For the original complete score that Gershwin composed and orchestrated, I would go with the Houston Grand Opera recording, not the Glyndebourne. And a better two-disc (slightly abridged) recording on Sony or Naxos(UK) conducted by Lehman Engel in 1951 is a personal favorite.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Huge Disappointment October 5, 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
If I were to have only one recording of Porgy and Bess, it would definately be the Houston Grand Opera recording on RCA. It is COMPLETE and wonderfully cast and conducted. The cuts, albeit sanctioned by George Gershwin are very bothersome. While the main characters are a bit more focused, they lose depth because they are no longer an integral part of a rich tapestry of community life. Other reviewers mentioned specific cuts that they regretted. I will second that opinion, I miss what was cut as well. The casting would be fine for a performance in a regional opera house, but not the stuff of great recordings. Even though the principals in Houston's recording did not have major careers in major American Opera Houses, they all rose to levels of greatness. Simon Rattle's Glynbourne recording is cast with singers who had and have major careers and next to this recording, it shows. With all that said, I prefer John Mauceri's conducting over Rattle's which can be a bit idiosyncratic. American Popular music is not mother's milk to Sir Simon Rattle, and while he conducts decently in all the major moments, he does not make transitions as well as he might. This is Mauceri's strength, he knows how this music should go and how to make it flow because it is part of him and has been for many years. Oh what he could have done with a complete recording and a first rate cast. First choice among Porgy and Bess Recordings is definately Houston Grand on RCA, second choice for me is Lehman Engle in a 1950s mono performance for Columbia, which although badly cut is brilliantly sung and conducted. Simon Rattle is for those for whom Porgy is a singer's opera, which is not me. It is the most gloriously sung and has much to recommend it. Beyond these three recordings, the rest are major disappointments.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Jazz babies would fall asleep September 21, 2006
Format:Audio CD
New versions of Porgy and Bess are rare on CD, and for almost two decades the ultra-complete set under Simon Rattle (EMI) has dominated the field. It's been waiting for an American production to challenge it, but Mauceri's new set isn't it. For one thing, the conductor is woefully flat and foursquare in his rhythms--it's embarrassing to hear the jazz drained out of every number.

The two principals, Alvy Powell and Marquita Lister, are decent, but both have wobbly voices under pressure and a tendency to tip-toe through their most famous numbers, as if passion is too vulgar ('Bess, you is my woman now' is especially lifeless). The performers in general seem uncertain about how to play the dated Catfish Row denizens, so we hear every kind of accent from Sportin' Life's blackface caricature to Bess's hoity-toity opera vowels. The selling point that this is "how Gershwin himself would have done it" might carry more weight if the performance itself wasn't so lackluster.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Idea!
As a long time fan of Gershwin as a great Broadway and Hollywood composer and his ventures into 'classical' instrumental music, I must admit that I have had a problem with his... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Calicokid
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally!
I've heard many versions of Porgy & Bess during my search for a more modern medium to replace my old Decca LP's. Read more
Published on October 14, 2011 by Moshe of Haifa
5.0 out of 5 stars A Memory Recaptured
This is the version that my aunt and I listened to on vinyl in 1968 and while I have listened to others, this is the one I liked best. Read more
Published on December 6, 2010 by Marcheta
2.0 out of 5 stars Good Idea... Poorly Sung
At the outset let me say that I'm one of those who much prefer the published version of PORGY AND BESS to the "opening night" text; but that aside, recording the original... Read more
Published on January 20, 2010 by William McKeldin Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars reconstructed porgy is brilliant
This is a brilliant reproduction of the actual PORGY AND BESS that George Gershwin presented in 1935. Read more
Published on September 8, 2009 by E Westbound
3.0 out of 5 stars This is a tough call.
OK. Here's the deal, at least as I see it.

We have an embarrassment of riches here: Depending on your definition of the word "complete", there are now as many as four... Read more
Published on January 21, 2009 by Good Stuff
2.0 out of 5 stars The "real version"? - not really.
The big hype on this recording is that it is the Porgy and Bess that Gershwin really wanted. Well here's a strange problem to consider. Read more
Published on August 28, 2007 by Alan Montgomery
4.0 out of 5 stars Best version, lesser performance
The other "Porgy"s are recordings of the first draft. This version plays as theater first and foremost. Read more
Published on March 12, 2007 by John Ellis
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