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The Essential George Gershwin

4.3 out of 5 stars 85 ratings

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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!

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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


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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
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Top international reviews

mainline
5.0 out of 5 stars Bright light
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 30, 2019
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sheila ward
5.0 out of 5 stars Good value
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 30, 2018
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novice reviewer
4.0 out of 5 stars Gershwin All Rounder
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 30, 2013
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Kim Clarke
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 4, 2016
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 21, 2014
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One singular sensation...
4.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes it is nice to revisit the past and discover something new
Reviewed in Canada on February 22, 2015
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Christian Weyhofen
5.0 out of 5 stars Musik mit Charme
Reviewed in Germany on May 18, 2019
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Petra Weber
1.0 out of 5 stars zu viel Gesang
Reviewed in Germany on May 26, 2019
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Sheila Overall
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Reviewed in Canada on April 5, 2018
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divol
5.0 out of 5 stars Essentiel
Reviewed in France on January 3, 2019
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GV
5.0 out of 5 stars da non perdere per chi ama Gershwin
Reviewed in Italy on May 27, 2013
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おばちゃん
5.0 out of 5 stars 良い曲ばかり!
Reviewed in Japan on September 26, 2014
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Jean René
5.0 out of 5 stars Il était une fois...les trottoirs de New-York...
Reviewed in France on February 25, 2013
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koban
5.0 out of 5 stars アメリカの遺産。
Reviewed in Japan on April 6, 2017
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Vincze Miklós
5.0 out of 5 stars The Essential George Gershwin
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 25, 2014
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